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Rock-based 3-D reservoir characterization of a Silurian (Niagaran) reef—Ray gas storage field, Macomb County, Michigan

Jessica L. Wold
Jessica L. Wold
Department of Geosciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008, USA, and XTO Energy, Fort Worth, Texas 76102, USA
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G. Michael Grammer
G. Michael Grammer
Department of Geosciences, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49008, USA, and Boone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma 74075, USA
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09 June 201720 February 2018


Silurian-age (Niagaran) reefs in the Michigan Basin have long been interpreted as relatively homogeneous units, despite production histories that strongly suggest the reefs are heterogeneous in both lateral and vertical dimensions. In an attempt to better illustrate reservoir heterogeneity in these reefs, a three-dimensional (3-D) sequence stratigraphic model was produced for the Ray Reef field. The resulting 3-D Petrel model incorporates 28 wells in the field using a combination of gamma-ray and neutron logs, porosity and permeability data from whole-core analysis, and facies descriptions from eight cores evenly distributed within the reef complex. Comparison of porosity and permeability values within the diverse depositional facies clearly shows trends related to the individual facies and positioning within the sequence hierarchy. Incorporation of the sequence stratigraphic framework into the 3-D model illustrates the episodic nature of reef growth as exhibited by the stacked nature of reef and capping grainstones, often separated by well-developed exposure horizons. The model also suggests a distinct difference between windward and leeward margins in both the geometry of the reef complex and the distribution of reservoir-prone facies. Windward margins are steeper due to higher rates of aggradational growth, and they typically contain higher percentages of reservoir-quality rock in both the reef core and forereef facies. Utilization of the sequence stratigraphic approach illustrates that the vertical reservoir heterogeneity often predicted from production in these reefs may be controlled in large part by the combination of vertical stacking patterns of facies within third- and fourth-order sequences.

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GSA Special Papers

Paleozoic Stratigraphy and Resources of the Michigan Basin

Geological Society of America
ISBN electronic:




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