Abstract

In west Texas, fractured-chert reservoirs of Devonian age have produced more than 700 million barrels of oil. About the same amount of mobile petroleum remains in place. These reservoirs are characterized by microporosity; they are heterogeneous and compartmented, which results in recovery of less than 30% of the oil in place. In this case study the objective was to use cores, petrophysical logs, rock physics, and seismic attributes to characterize porosity and field-scale fractures. The relations among porosity, velocity, and impedance were explored and also reactions among production, impedance, and lineaments observed in 3D attribute volumes. Laboratory core data show that Gassmann's fluid-substitution equation works well for microporous tripolitic chert. Also, laboratry measurements show excellent linear correlation between P-wave impedance and porosity. Volumetric calculations of reflector curvature and seismic inversion of acoustic impedance were combined to infer distribution of lithofacies and fractures and to predict porosity. Statistical relations were established between P-wave velocity and porosity measured from cores, between P-wave impedance and producing zones, and between initial production rates and seismic “fracture lineaments.” The strong quantitative correlation between thick-bedded chert lithofacies and seismic impedance was used to map the reservoir. A qualitative inverse relation between the first 12months of production and curvature lineaments was documented.

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