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Abstract

This AAPG volume is the first to concentrate on the occurrence, distribution, and character of lacustrine sandstone reservoirs and to put those reservoirs into a hydrocarbon system and depositional process context. Although much research has been conducted on lacustrine systems, most of that work concentrated on reconstructing paleoenvironments, deciphering paleoclimate, or estimating hydrocarbon source potential.

As of 2008, about 2.2% (16 × 109 bbl; 2.5 × 109m3) of the world's discovered oil has hydrocarbon sources associated with lacustrine or coal-bearing strata, whereas lacustrine reservoirs appear to account for only about 7% of daily oil production (~5 × 106 bbl of oil/0.8 × 106m3). Lacustrine reservoirs appear to hold only about 3% of proven oil reserves (based on U.S. Geological Survey and BP published information; see chapter by Bohacs in this volume for more details). Does this small proportion discovered in lacustrine reservoirs reflect a fundamental problem with lacustrine reservoirs or a great opportunity for exploration? This is a major question addressed in this volume. The answer may be that lacustrine reservoirs pose both great opportunities and great challenges.

Lakes are complex dynamic systems whose behavior can differ significantly from marine systems. Predictions of hydrocarbon reservoir presence, distribution, and character in lake systems similarly pose distinct challenges. These challenges arise from the fundamental nature of lacustrine systems: nonunique relations of lake character to climate or tectonics, contingent responses of lakes to climate change, and variable ties among lake level, sediment supply, and water supply. At the hydrocarbon-reservoir scale, these challenges affect

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