Abstract

The Jurassic Navajo Sandstone core in the Covenant field includes eolian dune interbedded with carbonate playa lake and fluvial interdune facies. Dune facies samples are bleached but not depleted in iron; bleached dune facies outcrop samples are depleted in iron. Bleached dune facies in the core samples contains ferroan dolomite, quartz overgrowths that do not completely fill pore spaces, grain-coating and pore-filling illite, coarse-grained gray hematite, kaolinite, and trace pyrite. Reddish brown interdune facies are typically very fine-grained sandstone and siltstone and contain dolomite and ferroan dolomite cement, illite pore-filling, and very fine-grained, red hematite. Diagenetic mineralogy and chemical compositions overlap the mineralogy and compositions of outcrop samples.

The carbon and oxygen isotopic composition of dolomite in interdune facies and adjacent dune facies is derived from groundwater discharge modified by evaporation in a playa lake interdune environment, not from interaction with hydrocarbons.

The iron in bleached dune facies is incorporated in coarse-grained hematite, ferroan dolomite, and trace pyrite. The bleached diagenetic mineral association of ferroan dolomite-hematite-pyrite with graphic is metastable relative to more reducing conditions produced by petroleum. The reservoir temperature of 188°F (87°C) is too high for bacterial sulfate reduction and too low for geologically significant thermochemical sulfate reduction accounting for the association of abundant graphic in produced water and trace pyrite in the core.

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