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Abstract

Deep-water turbidite sandstone reservoirs in the Gulf of Mexico have been sourced from a variety of provenance terrains. As a result, the framework composition of each reservoir in the basin varies widely, including volcanic-rich litharenite (Oligocene Vicksburg), feldspathic-rich lithic arkose (Oligocene Frio), metamorphic-rich feldspathic litharenite (Palaeogene Wilcox), lithic-poor quartzarenite (Miocene), quartz-rich sublitharenite (Cretaceous) and quartz- and feldspar-rich subarkose (Norphlet).

Provenance-driven differences in composition have a complex but critical influence on how each of these reservoirs responds to burial-induced changes in depth, fluid pressure, effective stress and temperature. A combination of Petromod® and Touchstone™ modelling programs are used in this study to simulate the influence of provenance on compaction and cementation of the main reservoir types in the Gulf of Mexico. For example, modelling results predict that at higher levels of thermal exposure, some lithic-rich sands, although more ductile and highly compacted, will experience less quartz cementation than less ductile, quartz-rich sands, thereby preserving a higher range of porosity and permeability. Furthermore, modelling results predict that temperature/effective stress/depth windows for optimal reservoir quality preservation vary widely depending on sandstone provenance.

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