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Abstract

This segment of the notes presents an overview of diagenetic processes of porosity and permeability destruction and enhancement. In the limited space available here, it is impossible to cover in any detail the vast literature on this subject. Thus, only the volumetrically important mechanisms of reservoir quality modification will be discussed, along with highlights of some recent studies of particular interest.

Major advances have been made in the understanding of clastic diagenesis in the last fifteen years. Many of these advances can be attributed directly to the intense efforts of oil industry research, exploration, and production personnel, as well as academicians, who have been involved in reservoir quality studies centered on the North Sea and offshore Norway. These studies have been greatly enhanced by the extensive coring that has attended drilling operations. Several publications focusing on diagenesis and reservoir quality in the North Sea and adjacent areas have been used widely in the preparation of this text. These are listed in Table 5-1. Other major publications devoted to diagenesis and reservoir quality in clastic rocks are also referenced frequently, and these are listed separately in Table 5-2.

In most reservoir sandstones, levels of resrervoir quality are far below initial (time of deposition) levels (porosities of 40 to 50% and permeabilities of 10 to 2,000 darcies). Although diagenesis tends to accentuate the effects of depositional control in most reservoir sandstones (e.g., Nagtegaal, 1979; Weber, 1980), it may also influence reservoir properties in an irregular manner, or even reverse depositional controls (e.g.

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