Abstract

This paper presents a synthesis and statistical analysis of published hydrocarbon-field and pool data on the Granite Wash as well as data on lineaments, both within the Peace River area and, more regionally, in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin (WCSB). Numerical correlation within each data set suggest compellingly that for both types of data there is a fractal/mixed ("multi") fractal property. Hydrocarbon pools and fields in the Granite Wash play appear to be somewhat fractally distributed, but not in a totally scale-invariant manner, indicative of a "multifractal" property to the distribution of pools and fields within the Granite Wash. Faults in the area of the Peace River Arch appear to show a fractal influence at all scales, and for different ages of faulting, including Devonian or older and Carboniferous. Fractal analysis allows one to combine data from fault-networks of different ages to assess the cumulative spatial and size distributions of faults within a given study area. Differentiation of fractal versus multifractal distributions of pool and field data is a potential tool that can be used to differentiate those plays in which there are simple controls on reservoir formation (fractal), versus those plays in which the controls are more complex (multifractal). Estimations of undiscovered hydrocarbon potential of the Granite Wash in the Peace River Arch area through fractal geometry give encouraging preliminary results, suggesting that there is much potential in the Granite Wash for the discovery of future small pools and fields. Although the present study points to an approach that may be used for approximation of hydrocarbon potential in an area, further documentation of fractal and mixed ("multi") fractal distributions of oil and gas fields in immature play areas remains to be done. The possibilities for locating additional pools and fields locally within the Granite Wash using paleotopographic and paleostructural reconstructions, along with fractal/multifractal analysis remain to be explored.

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