Very high concentrations of CO2 have been encountered in solution as carbonic acid in hydrocarbon reservoirs in parts of the Greater Sarawak Basin, offshore Borneo, Malaysia. Concentrations can exceed 80%. Anomalous features in 3D seismic data also are found in areas with high CO2 concentrations. These features appear as halos around reservoirs, cutting across stratigraphy and indicating a hardening of the nonreservoir rocks within the envelope of the halo. These halos can extend for hundreds of meters above and below a reservoir. Elastic log data from wells that pass through and adjacent to these seismic anomalies indicate that mudrocks within the anomalies have higher densities and velocities than would be predicted from locally derived compaction trends. Combinable magnetic resonance measurements indicate that the anomalous properties are the result of lower-than-expected capillary-bound microporosities. It is proposed that carbonic acid in the reservoir fluids diffuses into the bounding rocks, causing a loss of porosity. The amount of porosity lost depends on the clay content of the mudrock and the initial level of compaction, with shallower, more clay-rich shales able to lose more porosity. The anomalous seismic signatures result from a sharp transition (over approximately 5 m) at the diagenetic front between normal and altered rocks. The alteration can significantly change the amplitude variation with offset response of the reservoirs and therefore the ability to correctly predict fluid phase and reservoir quality. No anomalies are observed when the concentration of CO2 in the reservoir is less than 10% but always present when CO2 exceeds 20%. Therefore, it is possible to map the general distribution of high CO2 concentration from seismic data. There is no indication that the scale, amplitude, or shape of the anomalies gives an indication of the concentration of CO2.

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