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Geologia del petrleo

Trampas (traps)
Sellos (seals) y migracin
(migration)
Cristian Vallejo, PhD

Hydrocarbon Accumulations: the ingredients

migration pathway

Hydrocarbon traps
Any geometric arrangement of rock,
regardless of origin, that permits
significant accumulation of oil or gas, or
both, in the subsurface
Critical components
Reservoir
Seal
Geometric arrangement

Key elements of traps


Structural trap

Stratigraphic trap

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Nomenclature of a trap
Crest or culmination

Selley, 1998

Cross-section through a simple anticlinal trap

Fluid contacts
Sharp

Gradational

Selley, 1983

Abrupt fluid contact usually indicates a permeable


reservoir. Gradational contacts usually indicate low
permeability reservoirs with high capillary pressure

Classification of traps
Structural traps
Fold Traps
Fault Traps

Stratigraphic Traps
Hydrodynamic Traps
Combination Traps

Structural traps

Formed by
postdepositional
tectonic modification
of the reservoir

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Fold-dominated traps
Dip closure
A dome-shaped trap in
which strata dip outwards
in all directions (four-way
dip closure) in which the
integrity of the trap is
determined by the top
seal and any uncertainty
in the mapped structural
spill-point. The fold may
be formed by
compressional tectonics,
by compaction and
drape, or by hanging-wall
deformation in
extensional faulting.

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Fault-dominated traps

Fault closure
A trap which requires a lateral
fault seal. In fault enhanced dip
closures, a part of the closure is
dip-closed but a significant
upside exists if the fault seals. If
not, a large part of the trap may
be unfilled, due to along-fault
leakage of hydrocarbons.

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Stratigraphic traps

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Primary or depositional Stratigraphic trap


defined purely by the shape of a sedimentary body.

Stratigraphic traps
Stratigraphic/structural
trap
A trap defined by
depositional
geometries (pinch-out,
truncation at
unconformities) or
lateral variations in
diagenesis
(cementation) together
with structural dips. In
addition to a top-seal
and fault seal, lateral
seals and a seat-seal
may be required.

Unconformity related

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Stratigraphic traps

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Secondary or diagenetic, trap defined


purely by the shape of a diagenetic body.

Hydrodynamic traps

Hydrodynamic trap
Downward
movement of water
prevents upward
movement of oil or
gas

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Trap limitations

Biddle and Wielchowsky, 1994

Top seals
Top seals prevent the vertical movement of
hydrocarbons
Any rock may act as seal as long as it is
impermeable
Seal may be porous
Fine-grained rocks which have much smaller
pore throat diameters compared with reservoir
rocks
Shales most common seals
Evaporites most effective seals

Top seals

Water-wet seal acts as a


capillary seal to
hydrocarbons unless the
buoyancy pressure
exceeds the capillary
entry pressure, at which
point leakage occurs

Pore throats in massive


top seals are commonly
so small that they may
only leak by hydrofracturing or by forming
linked, permeable dilatant
fractures during
deformation.

Top seals
Permeable seals allow slow
leakage to take place by
Darcy flow

Diffusing seals allow light


hydrocarbons (eg. gas) to
pass in solution through the
pore fluid in the seal, due to a
saturation gradient.

Flow barriers

Top seals

Fault seals
Faults which prohibit fluid flow
Geometric seals
Fault gouge seals

Determine the trap volume,


compartmentalisation and production behaviour
in many fields
Effectiveness of fault seals depends on the
continuity and 3-D geometry of the sealing
properties in the fault network (ie. whether faults
are isolated or linked), and also on the fault
zone width

Fault seals
Geometric seals

Depend on the
geometrical
juxtaposition of
sealing lithologies
Are analysed in
juxtaposition
diagrams created
with the fault slice
technique.

Fault seals

Sealing fault

Geometric (juxtaposition)

Fault seals

Fault gouge seals


Caused by mechanical or chemical (diagenetic) alteration of
fault rocks
fault sealing depends on the brittle deformation mechanism,
cataclasis
Clays may be squeezed by a viscous flow mechanism into
the fault gouge to form clay smears.

Migration
Primary migration
Expulsion of the petroleum from the source rock

Secondary migration
Movement of the hydrocarbons from the source
rock to the trap
Driving force vertical buoyancy force due to the
lower density of petroleum compared to that of
formation water
Capillary pressure differences between oil and
water opposes buoyancy force discouraging entry
into smaller water wet pores

Primary migration

Droste, 1986

Hydrocarbons are expelled from the source rock along


the kerogen network and microfractures

Secondary migration

England, 1994

Reservoir filling, petroleum moves generally updip


following coarsest beds. Secondary migration is
relatively fast, 1 cm/1000y for siliciclastic sandstone.

Trap Types
Traps may have structural, stratigraphic or (rarely) diagenetic origins, and are
classified according to geometric elements, expressed either in map or crosssectional view. Four basic categories of traps are: dip closures; fault closures &
structural truncation traps; stratigraphic/structural traps; and pure stratigraphic
traps. Structural setting, or structural style, is an important component of trap
classification and description because it affects:

the interplay of tectonics and sedimentation,


trap timing in relation to charge history,
structural episodes after trap formation, which may modify or breach the trap,
vertical relationships, eg. the stacking of hydrocarbon accumulations and
lateral relationships, eg. traps sharing common hydrocarbon-water contacts and
cascading fill-and-spill relationships.

Definitions

Dip closure
A dome-shaped trap in which strata dip outwards in all directions (four-way dip closure) in which the integrity of the
trap is determined by the top seal and any uncertainty in the mapped structural spill-point. The fold may be formed by
compressional tectonics, by compaction and drape, or by hanging-wall deformation in extensional faulting.

Fault closure
A trap which requires a lateral fault seal. In fault enhanced dip closures, a part of the closure is dip-closed but a
significant upside exists if the fault seals. If not, a large part of the trap may be unfilled, due to along-fault leakage of
hydrocarbons.
Stratigraphic/structural trap
A trap defined by depositional geometries (pinch-out, truncation at unconformities) or lateral variations in diagenesis
(cementation) together with structural dips. In addition to a top-seal and fault seal, lateral seals and a seat-seal may be
required.
Stratigraphic trap
A trap defined purely by the shape of a sedimentary or diagenetic body.
Trap
A combination of structure, reservoir and seal which has the potential to retain hydrocarbons.
Truncation trap
A trap defined by structural dips and an updip lateral seal at an unconformity or against a salt flank.

Top Seals
Hydrocarbon traps may be formed by a top seal dip closure or a combination
of dip- and fault-closures (see entries in Trap Types). Top seals prevent the
vertical movement of hydrocarbons and are commonly formed from fine
grained rocks, which have much smaller pore throat diameters compared with
reservoir rocks. They may also be flow barriers, such as permeable seals
which allow slow leakage to take place by Darcy flow, or diffusing seals
which allow light hydrocarbons (eg. gas) to pass in solution through the pore
fluid in the seal, due to a saturation gradient. A water-wet seal acts as a
capillary seal to hydrocarbons unless the buoyancy pressure exceeds the
capillary entry pressure, at which point leakage occurs by permeable, twophase flow. The pore throats in massive top seals are commonly so small that
they may only leak by hydro-fracturing or by forming linked, permeable
dilatant fractures during deformation. Layered top seals may leak if sufficient
small faults are present to form a tortuous fault-linked leak path due to
juxtaposition of leaky layers.

Fault Seals
Fault seals, ie. faults which prohibit fluid flow, determine the trap volume,
compartmentalisation and production behaviour in many fields. Geometric seals
depend on the geometrical juxtaposition of sealing lithologies, and are analysed in
juxtaposition diagrams created with the fault slice technique. Fault gouge seals are
caused by mechanical or chemical (diagenetic) alteration of fault rocks. In
sediments with low net to gross ratios, along steep syn-sedimentary faults, clays
are squeezed by a viscous flow mechanism into the fault gouge to form clay
smears. These can be predicted with the Clay Smear Potential (CSP) formula. A
sealing/non-sealing CSP cut off can be established by calibrating the prediction
with known hydrocarbon occurrences or pressure anomalies. In clean reservoir
sandstones, fault sealing depends on the brittle deformation mechanism. The
occurrence of particulate flow, cataclastic flow, or cataclasis depends on the
matrix porosity and the effective confining pressure at the time of deformation. Of
these, only cataclasis causes significant permeability reductions. The effectiveness
of fault seals depends on the continuity and 3-D geometry of the sealing
properties in the fault network (ie. whether faults are isolated or linked), and also
on the fault zone width. Under certain circumstances faults can act as migration
pathways, either via tortuous linked pathways, or along the fault itself.