Ordovician proglacial sediments in Algeria: insights into the controls on hydrocarbon reservoirs in the In Amenas field, Illizi Basin
Published:January 01, 2012
J. Philip P. Hirst, 2012. "Ordovician proglacial sediments in Algeria: insights into the controls on hydrocarbon reservoirs in the In Amenas field, Illizi Basin", Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems, M. Huuse, J. Redfern, D. P. Le Heron, R. J. Dixon, A. Moscariello, J. Craig
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Ordovician proglacial deposits form gas reservoirs in the In Amenas field, Illizi Basin, Algeria. Depositional models were developed to understand the context and disposition of the main reservoirs through an evaluation of core and analogous outcrops from the Tassili N'Ajjer.
Tunnel valleys initially accumulated sandstones with tractional structures. Subsequent failures of subaqueous grounding line sediment deposited proglacial debrites comprising poorly sorted argillaceous sandstone with granules. These were interbedded with high-density turbidity sandstones; their fine grain size indicates they were dynamically disconnected from the lithologically varied debrites. A lobate geometry has been defined for one subsurface composite turbidite.
Periodic catastrophic outflows, possibly evacuating subglacial lakes, incised the network of subglacial tunnels and in the process delivered sand to the turbidite outwashes. Bedforms indicate high-energy, transcritical to supercritical outflows that were stable for extended periods. During ice retreat, a period of ice margin stability may have occurred due to grounding over the In Amenas granitic palaeohighs. Outwash fan apices were located along this grounding line with feeder channels developing where the substrate was more easily eroded such as between the palaeohighs. Following further ice retreat, deposition evolved to variably sinuous channels and thence to pelagic fines with dropstones.
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Glaciogenic Reservoirs and Hydrocarbon Systems
Glaciogenic reservoirs and hydrocarbon systems occur intermittently throughout the stratigraphic record, with particular prominence in Neoproterozoic, Late Ordovician, Permo-Carboniferous and Late Cenozoic strata. Recent interest in glaciogenic successions has been fuelled by hydrocarbon discoveries in ancient glaciogenic reservoirs in North Africa, the Middle East, Australia and South America. Glaciogenic deposits of Pleistocene age are noteworthy for their content of groundwater onshore and potentially prospective and/or hazardous gas accumulations offshore. The abundant imprints of Pleistocene glaciations in both hemispheres can be used to reconstruct complex histories of repeated ice cover and retreat, and glacier-bed interactions, thus informing our view on the dynamics of older ice caps and predictions of future glaciations. This volume aims to provide a better understanding of glaciogenic processes, their stratigraphic record and reservoir characteristics of glaciogenic deposits. The book comprises 3 overview papers and 16 original case studies of Neoproterozoic to Pleistocene successions on 6 continents and will be of interest to sedimentologists, glaciologists, geophysicists, hydrologists and petroleum geologists alike.