skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: 3-D sedimentological and geophysical studies of clastic reservoir analogs: Facies architecture, reservoir properties, and flow behavior within delta front facies elements of the Cretaceous Wall Creek Member, Frontier Formation, Wyoming

Abstract

This project examined the internal architecture of delta front sandstones at two locations within the Turonian-age Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation, in Wyoming. The project involved traditional outcrop field work integrated with core-data, and 2D and 3D ground penetrating radar (GPR) imaging from behind the outcrops. The fluid-flow engineering work, handled through a collaborative grant given to PI Chris White at LSU, focused on effects on fluid flow of late-stage calcite cement nodules in 3D. In addition to the extensive field component, the work funded 2 PhD students (Gani and Lee) and resulted in publication of 10 technical papers, 17 abstracts, and 4 internal field guides. PI Bhattacharya also funded an additional 3 PhD students that worked on the Wall Creek sandstone funded separately through an industrial consortium, two of whom graduated in the fall 2006 ((Sadeque and Vakarelov). These additional funds provided significant leverage to expand the work to include a regional stratigraphic synthesis of the Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation, in addition to the reservoir-scale studies that DOE directly funded. Awards given to PI Bhattacharya included the prestigious AAPG Distinguished Lecture Award, which involved a tour of about 25 Universities and Geological Societies inmore » the US and Canada in the fall of 2005 and Spring of 2006. Bhattacharya gave two talks, one entitled “Applying Deltaic and Shallow Marine Outcrop Analogs to the Subsurface”, which highlighted the DOE sponsored work and the other titled “Martian River Deltas and the Origin of Life”. The outcrop analog talk was given at about 1/2 of the venues visited.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
University of Texas at Dallas
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE - Office of Energy Research (ER)
OSTI Identifier:
899829
Report Number(s):
DOEER151661
TRN: US200711%%600
DOE Contract Number:
FG03-01ER15166
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
02 PETROLEUM; CALCITE; CEMENTS; FLUID FLOW; ORIGIN; RADAR; RIVER DELTAS; SANDSTONES; STREAMS; SYNTHESIS

Citation Formats

Janok P. Bhattacharya, and George A. McMechan. 3-D sedimentological and geophysical studies of clastic reservoir analogs: Facies architecture, reservoir properties, and flow behavior within delta front facies elements of the Cretaceous Wall Creek Member, Frontier Formation, Wyoming. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.2172/899829.
Janok P. Bhattacharya, & George A. McMechan. 3-D sedimentological and geophysical studies of clastic reservoir analogs: Facies architecture, reservoir properties, and flow behavior within delta front facies elements of the Cretaceous Wall Creek Member, Frontier Formation, Wyoming. United States. doi:10.2172/899829.
Janok P. Bhattacharya, and George A. McMechan. Fri . "3-D sedimentological and geophysical studies of clastic reservoir analogs: Facies architecture, reservoir properties, and flow behavior within delta front facies elements of the Cretaceous Wall Creek Member, Frontier Formation, Wyoming". United States. doi:10.2172/899829. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/899829.
@article{osti_899829,
title = {3-D sedimentological and geophysical studies of clastic reservoir analogs: Facies architecture, reservoir properties, and flow behavior within delta front facies elements of the Cretaceous Wall Creek Member, Frontier Formation, Wyoming},
author = {Janok P. Bhattacharya and George A. McMechan},
abstractNote = {This project examined the internal architecture of delta front sandstones at two locations within the Turonian-age Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation, in Wyoming. The project involved traditional outcrop field work integrated with core-data, and 2D and 3D ground penetrating radar (GPR) imaging from behind the outcrops. The fluid-flow engineering work, handled through a collaborative grant given to PI Chris White at LSU, focused on effects on fluid flow of late-stage calcite cement nodules in 3D. In addition to the extensive field component, the work funded 2 PhD students (Gani and Lee) and resulted in publication of 10 technical papers, 17 abstracts, and 4 internal field guides. PI Bhattacharya also funded an additional 3 PhD students that worked on the Wall Creek sandstone funded separately through an industrial consortium, two of whom graduated in the fall 2006 ((Sadeque and Vakarelov). These additional funds provided significant leverage to expand the work to include a regional stratigraphic synthesis of the Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation, in addition to the reservoir-scale studies that DOE directly funded. Awards given to PI Bhattacharya included the prestigious AAPG Distinguished Lecture Award, which involved a tour of about 25 Universities and Geological Societies in the US and Canada in the fall of 2005 and Spring of 2006. Bhattacharya gave two talks, one entitled “Applying Deltaic and Shallow Marine Outcrop Analogs to the Subsurface”, which highlighted the DOE sponsored work and the other titled “Martian River Deltas and the Origin of Life”. The outcrop analog talk was given at about 1/2 of the venues visited.},
doi = {10.2172/899829},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Fri Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Fri Feb 16 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}

Technical Report:

Save / Share:
  • Significant volumes of oil and gas occur in reservoirs formed by ancient river deltas. This has implications for the spatial distribution of rock types and the variation of transport properties. A between mudstones and sandstones may form baffles that influence productivity and recovery efficiency. Diagenetic processes such as compaction, dissolution, and cementation can also alter flow properties. A better understanding of these properties and improved methods will allow improved reservoir development planning and increased recovery of oil and gas from deltaic reservoirs. Surface exposures of ancient deltaic rocks provide a high-resolution view of variability. Insights gleaned from these exposures canmore » be used to model analogous reservoirs, for which data is sparser. The Frontier Formation in central Wyoming provides an opportunity for high-resolution models. The same rocks exposed in the Tisdale anticline are productive in nearby oil fields. Kilometers of exposure are accessible, and bedding-plane exposures allow use of high-resolution ground-penetrating radar. This study combined geologic interpretations, maps, vertical sections, core data, and ground-penetrating radar to construct geostatistical and flow models. Strata-conforming grids were use to reproduce the observed geometries. A new Bayesian method integrates outcrop, core, and radar amplitude and phase data. The proposed method propagates measurement uncertainty and yields an ensemble of plausible models for calcite concretions. These concretions affect flow significantly. Models which integrate more have different flow responses from simpler models, as demonstrated an exhaustive two-dimensional reference image and in three dimensions. This method is simple to implement within widely available geostatistics packages. Significant volumes of oil and gas occur in reservoirs that are inferred to have been formed by ancient river deltas. This geologic setting has implications for the spatial distribution of rock types (\Eg sandstones and mudstones) and the variation of transport properties (\Eg permeability and porosity) within bodies of a particular rock type. Both basin-wide processes such as sea-level change and the autocyclicity of deltaic processes commonly cause deltaic reservoirs to have large variability in rock properties; in particular, alternations between mudstones and sandstones may form baffles and trends in rock body permeability can influence productivity and recovery efficiency. In addition, diagenetic processes such as compaction, dissolution, and cementation can alter the spatial pattern of flow properties. A better understanding of these properties, and improved methods to model the properties and their effects, will allow improved reservoir development planning and increased recovery of oil and gas from deltaic reservoirs. Surface exposures of ancient deltaic rocks provide a high resolution, low uncertainty view of subsurface variability. Patterns and insights gleaned from these exposures can be used to model analogous reservoirs, for which data is much sparser. This approach is particularly attractive when reservoir formations are exposed at the surface. The Frontier Formation in central Wyoming provides an opportunity for high resolution characterization. The same rocks exposed in the vicinity of the Tisdale anticline are productive in nearby oil fields, including Salt Creek. Many kilometers of good-quality exposure are accessible, and the common bedding-plane exposures allow use of shallow-penetration, high-resolution electromagnetic methods known as ground-penetrating radar. This study combined geologic interpretations, maps, vertical sections, core data, and ground-penetrating radar to construct high-resolution geostatistical and flow models for the Wall Creek Member of the Frontier Formation. Stratal-conforming grids were use to reproduce the progradational and aggradational geometries observed in outcrop and radar data. A new, Bayesian method integrates outcrop--derived statistics, core observations of concretions, and radar amplitude and phase data. The proposed method consistently propagates measurement uncertainty through the model-building process, and yields an ensemble of plausible models for diagenetic calcite concretions. These concretions have a statistically significant on flow. Furthermore, neither geostatistical data from the outcrops nor geophysical data from radar is sufficient: models which integrate these data have significantly different flow responses. This was demonstrated both for an exhaustive two-dimensional reference image and in three dimensions, using flow simulations. This project wholly supported one PhD student and part of the education of an additional MS and PhD student. It helped to sponsor 6 refereed articles and 8 conference or similar presentations.« less
  • An integrated sedimentologic and GPR investigation has been carried out on a fluvial channel sandstone in the mid-Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone at Coyote Basin along the southwestern flank of the San Rafael Uplift in east-central Utah. This near-surface study, which covers a area of 40 {times} 16.5 meters to a depth of 15 meters, integrates detailed stratigraphic data from outcrop sections and facies maps with multi-frequency 3-D GPR surveys. The objectives of this investigation are two-fold: (1) to develop new ground-penetrating radar (GPR) technology for imaging shallow subsurface sandstone bodies, and (2) to construct an empirical three-dimensional sandstone reservoir model suitablemore » for hydrocarbon flow-simulation by imaging near-surface sandstone reservoir analogs with the use of GPR. The sedimentological data base consists of a geologic map of the survey area and a detailed facies map of the cliff face immediately adjacent to the survey area. Five vertical sections were measured along the cliff face adjacent to the survey area. In addition, four wells were cored within the survey area from which logs were recorded. In the sections and well logs primary sedimentary structures were documented along with textural information and permeability data. Gamma-ray profiles were also obtained for all sections and core logs. The sedimentologic and stratigraphic information serves as the basis from which much of the processing and interpretation of the GPR data was made. Three 3-D GPR data sets were collected over the survey area at frequencies of 50 MHZ, 100 MHZ, and 200 MHZ.« less
  • Clastic reservoir analogs based on 2-D outcrop studies provide valuable definitions of geometric and petrophysical heterogeneities at interwell scales. Integration of 3-D ground-penetrating radar (GPR) surveys with sedimentological and stratigraphic data provides information on the internal heterogeneities of sedimentary sequences at scales that allow dissection of the 3-D anatomy of clastic depositional systems. Two 3-D GPR data volumes were acquired in the Ferron sandstone of east-central Utah. The data show prominent lenticular features, a variety of lithologies, and structural elements such as channels and shale drapes that match well with those seen at the same stratigraphic levels in adjacent cliffmore » faces.« less
  • Sedimentological, mineralogical and geochemical studies of two drill cores penetrating the lower Saline zone of the Parachute Creek Member (middle L-4 oil-shale zone through upper R-2 zone) of the Green River Formation in north-central Piceance Creek basin, Colorado, indicate the presence of two distinct oil-shale facies. The most abundant facies has laminated stratification and frequently occurs in the L-4, L-3 and L-2 oil-shale zones. The second, and subordinate facies, has ''streaked and blebby'' stratification and is most abundant in the R-4, R-3 and R-2 zones. Laminated oil shale originated by slow, regular sedimentation during meromictic phases of ancient Lake Uinta,more » whereas streaked and blebby oil shale was deposited by episodic, non-channelized turbidity currents. Laminated oil shale has higher contents of nahcolite, dawsonite, quartz, K-feldspar and calcite, but less dolomite/ankerite and albite than streaked and blebby oil shale. Ca-Mg-Fe carbonate minerals in laminated oil shale have more variable compositions than those in streaked and blebby shales. Streaked and blebby oil shale has more kerogen and a greater diversity of kerogen particles than laminated oil shale. Such variations may produce different pyrolysis reactions when each shale type is retorted.« less