Abstract

In sandstone-dominated successions of sheet-like turbidites, erosion of thin shale horizons during deposition of the overlying turbidite may lead locally to vertical amalgamation of sandstone beds, resulting in discontinuous thin fine-grained beds or, in the extreme case, thoroughly amalgamated sandstone. Measurements of discontinuous shale lengths from very well exposed turbidite successions have enabled the development of a mixed rule-based/stochastic model for the erosion of shales. Monte Carlo realizations of 2D cross-sections were used to examine the effects of shale discontinuities on both single-and two-phase flow, at the genetic sedimentary unit scale. Results demonstrate that the flow is strongly dependent on the balance of viscous, capillary and gravity forces, which can vary according to the distribution of amalgamation surfaces. The single-phase upscaled ratio of horizontal to vertical permeability and the fraction of mobile oil recovered can be related to the fraction of shale removed (amalgamation ratio) by log-linear and linear relationships respectively.

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