The depositional mechanism of chalk is a key influence in the chalk’s ultimate reservoir quality. Classically, the depositional mechanism is interpreted from core descriptions. Where core data are lacking, dipmeter and borehole imagery logs have proven useful in making lithofacies assessments. Criteria for recognition of three chalk categories are established. Category III chalks correspond to those chalks that have been deposited by gravity flows or slumping and tend to have the best reservoir parameters. Category I chalks are most often affiliated with pelagic deposition and tend to have the poorest reservoir parameters. Category II chalks are intermediate between I and III.
Anomalously high primary porosities have been maintained in Norwegian North Sea chalks where the effects of mechanical and chemical compaction have been limited. The diagenetic pathway of a chalk reflects changes brought about by mechanical and chemical compaction. Five factors most heavily influence the diagenetic pathway: (1) burial depth, (2) chalk type, (3) overpressuring, (4) presence of hydrocarbons, and (5) original grain size.
Assessments of the sedimentological model, diagenetic pathway, and resultant reservoir quality are provided in case studies of Edda, Tor, and Eldfisk fields. Because the distribution of chalk is largely independent of existing structures, most fields have a component of stratigraphic/diagenetic trapping. Each case study shows unique examples of how petrophysical and reservoir engineering data can be incorporated in assessments of chalk type and the diagenetic pathway and how they may affect reservoir parameters and productivity.