Burial History and Porosity Evolution of Brazilian Upper Jurassic to Tertiary Sandstone Reservoirs
Cristiano Leite Sombra, Chang Hung Kiang, 1997. "Burial History and Porosity Evolution of Brazilian Upper Jurassic to Tertiary Sandstone Reservoirs", Reservoir Quality Prediction in Sandstones and Carbonates, J. A. Kupecz, J. Gluyas, S. Bloch
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The parameter time-depth index (TDI) is applied in this study to quantify empirically the influence of burial history on sandstone porosity evolution. The TDI, expressed in kilometers per million years of age, is defined as the area in the burial history diagram enclosed by the burial curve of the reser-voir and the axes of the diagram. In practice, reservoir depths during burial history are integrated at regular time intervals of 1 m.y. The calculations exclude present-day bathymetry or paleobathymetry.
Sandstone reservoirs from several sedimentary basins along the Brazilian continental margin (Santos, Campos, Espirito Santo, Cumuruxatiba, Reconcavo, Sergipe, Alagoas, and Potiguar) were analyzed to investigate the evolution of porosity against TDI. These Upper Jurassic to Tertiary sand-stones lie in depths of 700 to 4900 m, and are hydrocarbon charged (oil or gas). Average porosities of most of these reservoirs were obtained from core analysis, and a few porosity data were taken from well log interpretations. Detrital constituents of the sandstones are mainly quartz, feldspar, and granitic/gneissic rock fragments. Sandstones were grouped into three main reservoir types, based on composition (detrital quartz content) and grain sorting: Type I (average quartz content <50%) are very coarse grained to con-glomeratic, poorly to very poorly sorted lithic arkoses. Rock fragments are mainly granitic/gneissic and coarse grained. Type II (average quartz content ranging from 50% to 70%) are fine- to coarse-grained (pebbles absent or occurring in small percentages), moderately sorted arkoses. Type III (average quartz content >80%) are fine to coarse, moderately to poorly sorted quartz arenites or subarkoses.
Plots of average porosity against depth show great dispersion in porosity values; such dispersion is mostly due to differences in the reservoir burial histories. However, plotting porosity values against the TDI for individual reservoir types produces well-defined trends. The decrease in porosity is less marked in Type III reservoirs, intermediate in Type II, and faster in Type I. Such plots suggest that it is possible to make relatively accurate porosity pre-dictions based on reservoir TDI, texture, and composition, within the con-straints of reservoir depth/age and basin tectonics analyzed in this study.
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Reservoir Quality Prediction in Sandstones and Carbonates
The accurate prediction of reservoir quality is, and will continue to be, a key challenge for hydrocarbon exploration and development. Prediction is a logical and critically important extension of the description and interpretation of geological processes. However, in spite of the profusion of publications on sandstone and carbonate diagenesis, relatively few articles illustrate the application of such studies to reservoir quality prediction. This Memoir represents the first attempt to compile worldwide case studies covering some predictive aspects of both siliciclastic and carbonate reservoir characteristics. We have attempted here to focus on the variability due to diagenetic effects in sandstones and carbonates, rather than on sedimentological effects, i.e., the presence or absence of a given reservoir. The chapters cover the spectrum of stages in the explorationexploitation cycle (Table 1).
The importance of reservoir quality in pay evaluation has been illustrated by Rose (1987), who analyzed an unnamed company's exploration results over a 1-year period. Of 87 wildcat wells drilled, 27 were discoveries (31 % success rate); incorrect predictions of the presence of adequate reservoir rocks were made in 40% of the dry holes. Importantly, the geologists believed that reservoir quality was the primary uncertainty in 79% of the unsuccessful wells. Similarly, a comparison of predrill predictions with postdrill results by Shell (Sluijk and Parker, 1984) indicated that reservoir quality was seriously overestimated, whereas hydrocarbon charge and retention predictions were more accurate. Although these statistics do not clearly separate drilling failure due to lack of potential reservoir from the lack of adequate reservoir quality, it seems that although explorers are aware of the significance of reservoir quality prediction, generation of predictive models continues to be a formidable task.