Abstract

In the current debate on the ability of oil emplacement to halt quartz cementation in sandstone oil reservoirs, this paper supports a "yes, it can" answer. Although we find some of the empirical data petroleum fluid inclusion abundances, quartz-depth trends) to be inconclusive, we have made progress in this debate by examining theoretical controls for three end-member quartz cementation scenarios. (1) Silica externally sourced via advection. Oil emplacement must halt quartz cementation because of the associated massive reduction in relative permeability to water. (2) Silica supplied internally, water-wet reservoir. Quartz cementation will be inhibited because the rate of diffusion will be reduced by orders of magnitude, making diffusion the rate controlling step. The degree of inhibition will depend on rock fabric and oil saturation; at very high oil saturations quartz cementation could effectively cease. (3) Silica supplied internally, oil-wet reservoir. Quartz cementation will be halted as water cannot access to grain surfaces.

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