ABSTRACT

Ediacaran-age (635–542 Ma) oil-bearing strata in the Yarakta Horizon at the Verkhnechonskoye and Yaraktinskoye fields, East Siberia, consist of conglomerate, sandstone, dolomitic sandstone, and mudstone overlying and onlapping igneous to metasedimentary highlands of the East Siberia craton. Initial drainage networks formed within structurally defined valleys, and early deposition occurred in localized alluvial to shallow-marine depositional systems. Base-level-controlled depositional cycles aggraded the valleys; thus, as valleys aggraded, they buried interfluves and coalesced forming broad alluvial and coastal plains.

Three to seven bedsets of variable net-to-gross content constitute a genetic cycle. Depositional cycles varied locally, as nine and eight cycles separated by decimeter- to multi-meter-thick mudstones are defined at Verknechonskoye and Yaraktinskoye, respectively. Within one genetic cycle, facies associations grade basinward from alluvial (channel-bar, channel-fill, floodplain, playa, and crevasse-splay) to shallow marine (sabkha, tidal-flat, estuarine-channel, and poorly developed shoreface). Coarse-grained lithofacies are typically arranged in decimeter- to meter-scale bedsets with sharp to scoured bases. Bedsets commonly, but not always, show an upward decrease in grain size, bed thickness, and scale of sedimentary structure. Typically, medium-grained sandstones exhibit low-angle cross bedding and are gradationally overlain by fine-grained sandstones exhibiting scour-and-fill, cuspate-ripple lamination, climbing-ripple lamination, and parallel lamination. Clay clasts and small pebbles are accessories. Interbedded mudstones, siltstones, and sandstones show ripple cross bedding, wavy to lenticular bedding, abundant soft-sediment deformation (e.g., shear, fluid-escape, slump features), and slickensides. Thin-bedded sandstones are micaceous and contain granule-size mud chips. Some mudstones exhibit crinkled to parallel laminae indicative of algal growth. Sandstone fills mudcracks. Interbedded green and black mudstones, plus pyrite and siderite cements, indicate alternating redox conditions. Alluvial facies have patchy quartz, anhydrite, and carbonate cements. Marine-influenced facies show early and well-developed quartz cement as well as abundant halite. Gypsum and halite dissolution formed secondary pores. Calculated estimates of fluvial-channel dimensions and sinuosities indicate that despite the lack of vegetation, fluvial channels in the Yarakta Horizon were shallow and relatively narrow, moderately sinuous, and exhibited varying degrees of mud-prone overbank deposition.

Recognition and correlation of flooding surfaces and channel diastems bounding genetically related strata identified multiple stratigraphic compartments in each field. Porosity loss at chronostratigraphic boundaries accounts for complex water, oil, and gas contacts. Economic field development is hampered by locally varying reservoir quality and sandstone continuity caused by its channelized and onlapping stratigraphy and diagenesis. Reservoir simulation of varying geostatistical models demonstrate that differing porosity-distribution methods had little effect on estimates of in-place hydrocarbon volumes. Model differences in porosity and permeability distribution and lithofacies connectivity show large variations in recovery factor and productivity/injectivity.

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