Abstract

Prediction of the reservoir quality of oolitic carbonates is one of the main challenges for petroleum geology due to the inherited heterogeneity in pore systems. This study investigated and characterized the sedimentological, stratigraphic, morphological and granulometric data of oolitic outcrop strata of the Khartam Member of the Khuff Formation in Saudi Arabia, including the giant hydrocarbon reservoirs (Khuff reservoirs), and the results have implications for exploration and development. Linking ooid morphology to sequence stratigraphy revealed that the distribution of the oolitic beds and their pore systems are mainly controlled by stratigraphic position, morphology (controlled by primary mineralogy) and grain size. The systematic distribution of ooids with distinct original mineral compositions allows for the prediction of the porosity distribution and occurrence within analogous reservoirs. The ooids in the studied interval were aragonitic (lower interval), bimineralic (middle interval) and aragonitic (upper interval). Linking ooid grain size with depositional environments indicated that the ooid grain size increases with water energy and follows the upwards-shallowing pattern of the studied succession. These results can be used to improve the understanding and prediction of the reservoir quality of oolitic carbonates.

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