Abstract

Investigation by spectral gamma-ray (SGR) and inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) geochemical analyses of the Upper Jurassic Arab-D reservoir analogue (central Saudi Arabia) revealed a strong correlation between the SGR response of the outcrop lithofacies and their elemental content. The two units of the reservoir (the Upper Jubaila Member of the Jubaila Formation and the Arab-D Member of the Arab Formation) showed distinctive SGR log profiles controlled mainly by their lithofacies associations. The geochemical analysis revealed four groups of chemical associations. Group 1 includes SiO2, Al3O2, Fe2O3, K2O, TiO2, Zr and Zn. This group has a strong relationship with the radioactive elements U, K and Th (Group 4). The reservoir facies exhibit high concentrations of chemicals from these two clusters. Group 2 includes CaO and Sr. A high concentration of chemicals from this group indicates a tendency towards pure carbonate facies and fewer siliciclastic impurities. A high concentration of MgO, the only chemical included in Group 3, marks dolomitic zones. Group 4 contains the radioactive elements. The boundary between the Upper Jubaila Member and the Arab-D Member is clearly defined from vertical SGR log profiles, vertical geochemical data logging and cross-plots of Group 1 chemicals with the radioactive elements in Group 4. The geochemical data for the Upper Jubaila Member show a very low concentration of U, K and Th. Consequently, the SGR response of the lithofacies was very low. All of the reservoir lithofacies showed high concentration of Group 1 and Group 4 components compared with the non-reservoir lithofacies. The Th/U ratio indicates a general shoaling upwards following the same trend of the outcrop lithofacies. A high Th/U ratio characterizes reservoir lithofacies, whereas a low ratio characterizes non-reservoir lithofacies. The lithofacies and the SGR log motifs were related in the measured sections. This study provides a method for predicting lithofacies from SGR log motifs within a high-resolution stratigraphic framework integrated with the geochemical data analysis. Here, we introduce an exploration guide for subsurface reservoir zonation and the identification of formation tops.

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