Secondary processes within reservoir sandstones during and after hydrocarbon production are poorly understood. This study looks at the effect of secondary water fill on a sandstone reservoir within a time span of 8 yr. The reservoir rocks consist of medium-grained litharenites with large clasts of shales and carbonates. They originate from a depleted gas reservoir that has been converted into an underground storage field for natural gas. Gas production resulted in a rise of the gas–water contact of approximately 30 m (98 ft). Based on their initial and final gas and water saturations, four zones can be identified. Observed diagenetic changes in all four zones include carbonate cementation, K-feldspar overgrowths, authigenic quartz overgrowths, pyrite formation, and poorly crystallized authigenic clay minerals. However, the authigenic clay mineral fraction differs significantly within the zones. Total clay mineral content and crystallinities of smectite, chlorite, kaolinite, and illite increase from the gas-bearing to the initial water zone. Additionally, expandable clay minerals and kaolinite were not identified in the gas-bearing zone. This is different in the secondary watered zones, where smectites and kaolinites are developing. The study shows that within a maximum of 8 yr from the start of water influx into the gas zone, new clay minerals are forming. The porosity and permeability reduction caused by this artificially induced process might continue and could also be of relevance within producing reservoirs, where water saturation increases during production.

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