The lower Pennsylvanian Jackfork Group in Arkansas has been the subject of studies, field trips, and publications for many years because of excellent outcrop exposures of different deep-water architectural elements. This latest study is focused on the Baumgartner Quarry located near Kirby, Arkansas, which exposes a series of vertical walls in three dimensions. This quarry has not been as well documented as other popular exposures, although three-dimensional (3-D) quarry faces exist, and the quarry strata comprise part of a complete 600-m (1970-ft)-thick near-continuous Jackfork stratigraphic sequence not unlike younger deep-water stratigraphic exploration targets in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. Subsurface problems including reservoir uncertainties and reservoir performance of lobe versus channel-fill deposits are addressed based on our work in the quarry.
A 3-D sequence-stratigraphic model was developed using a correlation of seven measured stratigraphic sections in the quarry. The 180-m (590-ft)-thick quarry strata consist of a lower lowstand systems tract (LST) (lower sandstones) dominated by channel-fill sandstones, overlain by a shaly transgressive systems tract (condensed section), and then by an upper LST (upper sandstones) dominated by sheet or lobe sandstones.
This model was translated into an updip against salt field, which is analogous to some deep-water Gulf of Mexico reservoirs. Performance simulation was conducted on the model using a one-injector water well and two vertical producing wells, one of which was connected to the injector via a channel sandstone and the other of which was offset from the channel sandstone. Results yielded 60% more production from the connected injector-producer pair than from the nonconnected pair. Comparison between the lower (channel-prone) sandstones and the upper (sheet-prone) sandstones revealed that the sheet-prone sandstone is more sustainable, whereas the channel-prone sandstone exhibits a larger drop in production rate during a 10-yr production period.
These results illustrate the value of 3-D outcrop models for reservoir performance simulation for development planning of deep-water fields with limited data control, such as in the deep-water Gulf of Mexico.