Chalk samples from Dan, Tyra, South Arne, Valhall and Ekofisk fields were collected from hydrocarbon-bearing intervals in the Cretaceous Tor and Palaeogene Ekofisk formations in the central North Sea. The samples were compared with respect to stable isotope ratios, lithotype, texture, porosity, permeability, capillary entry pressure, as well as the dynamic elastic Biot's coefficient and Poisson's ratio. The depositional texture and present grain-size distribution were quantified by petrographic image analysis. Oxygen isotope ratio and Biot's coefficient were used as indicators of cementation.

Porosity varies more than 20 porosity units within each hydrocarbon field and is controlled by three parameters: (1) sorting as expressed by Dunham texture, so that mudstones tend to have highest porosity and packstones the lowest; (2) sorting of the carbonate mud, where a mixture of clay-size chalk particles and silicates tend to reduce porosity; and (3) by pore-filling cementation. The relative significance of these parameters varies with field and formation. The presence of chalk clasts as an indicator of re-deposited chalk seems to have no relationship to porosity. Permeability and capillary entry pressure depend on porosity and mineral content as expressed in specific surface. Prediction of permeability and capillary entry pressure may be aided by information on carbonate content or on Poisson's ratio.

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