Skip to Main Content

Abstract

The Eagle Ford play in south Texas extends along strike from the San Marcos arch in the northeast into the Maverick Basin along the international border with Mexico. The highest initial oil production is in a strike-parallel belt between the Karnes trough and the Cretaceous shelf margin. Three lithologies comprise the bulk of the Eagle Ford Shale in this area: argillaceous mudrock (shale), calcareous mudrock (marl), and limestone. The marls consist mainly of coccoliths and contain more total organic carbon (TOC) and have higher porosities than the other lithologies. The sand- and silt-sized grains in the marls and limestones consist predominantly of planktonic foraminifera, radiolarians, and calcispheres, with lesser amounts of inoceramid fragments and other carbonate grains. The limestones may be partly to entirely recrystallized. The strength and rigidity of the rocks increase with calcite content—the limestones are stronger and more rigid than the marls. Argillaceous mudrock (shale) comprises only a small portion of the Eagle Ford between the San Marcos arch and the Maverick Basin, but is more common in the lower part of the formation along strike to the northeast.

Six unconformity-bounded stratigraphic intervals (depositional sequences) can be recognized and mapped within the Eagle Ford Shale between the San Marcos arch and the Maverick Basin. Significant changes in biostratigraphy and chemostratigraphy within the Eagle Ford take place at these sequence boundaries. The Cenomanian–Turonian boundary occurs within the lower part of the Upper Eagle Ford. Typically, the Upper Eagle Ford contains less vanadium, molybdenum, uranium, and TOC than the Lower Eagle Ford, indicating bottom-water oxygen levels were oxic rather than dysoxic or anoxic during deposition. The Eagle Ford as a whole and each of its major subdivisions thin across an area in southwestern Karnes County coinciding with a structural high on the underlying Buda Limestone. The percentage of limestone within the Eagle Ford and each of its major subdivisions increases over this area. Changes in thickness and facies within the Eagle Ford suggest the area above the high on the time-structure map was a topographic high on the seafloor. Furthermore, changes in bathymetry influenced facies distribution and ultimately production from the Eagle Ford Shale. However, changes in pore pressure and fracture intensity also occur across the high, confounding the effect of facies on production.

You do not currently have access to this chapter.

Figures & Tables

Contents

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal