Precise knowledge of the spatial distribution patterns of non-matrix porosity zones and the establishment of the geological factors controlling their evolution are crucial for building more accurate carbonate reservoir models and improving hydrocarbon production. The occurrence of intervals affected by significant carbonate dissolution may result in drilling fluid loss and time-consuming drawbacks during well construction. Vug or cave-rich reservoirs may exhibit excess permeability and extremely high initial flow rates. Similar situations have been reported in exploration activities in the Brazilian pre-salt plays, where evidence of dissolution and other burial diagenetic processes, such as severe silicification and dolomitization, are common. In this study, we investigate evidence of major post-depositional changes in the lacustrine carbonate reservoirs of the Barra Velha Formation, which comprises the most prolific hydrocarbon play in Brazil. Using a comprehensive database consisting of both core samples and well-log data from a vertical well in the Santos Basin, we have characterized, at multiple scales, reservoir zones affected by silicification and carbonate dissolution. In addition, we have performed a petrophysical evaluation of the reservoir to understand the impact of such processes on porosity and permeability development. The results suggested an intimate relationship between silicification and dissolution processes, which can be associated with late fluid percolation under a deep burial flow regime. The occurrence of silicified and vuggy beds, associated with specific zones and lithofacies, indicates an important degree of stratigraphic control on fluid percolation and lateral migration. Furthermore, the presence of fractures at discrete stratigraphic levels has preferentially influenced the development of high-permeability zones, including metric-scale fracture-related conduits. This study contributes to the general knowledge of carbonate reservoirs affected by silicification and dissolution while providing support for the recognition of such processes in partially- or non-cored wells.

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