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Role played by clay content in controlling reservoir quality of submarine fan system, Forties Sandstone Member, Central Graben, North Sea

Bello, Abdulwahab M. and Jones, Stuart J. and Gluyas, Jon G. and Acikalin, Sanem and Cartigny, Matthieu (2021) 'Role played by clay content in controlling reservoir quality of submarine fan system, Forties Sandstone Member, Central Graben, North Sea.', Marine and petroleum Geology, 128 . p. 105058.

Abstract

Proximal to distal fan change in grain size, clay matrix content, and grain-coating clays have been identified as key contributing factors for eservoir quality evolution of submarine fan turbidite sandstones. This study evaluated the role played by grain-coating and pore-filling clays, depositional facies, and diagenesis in reservoir quality evolution of the Paleocene Forties submarine fan sandstones (Central North Sea) from proximal to distal fan settings. To help provide a comprehensive understanding of the role played by pore-filling and grain-coating clays in destroying and preserving reservoir quality, respectively, in turbidite sandstones, we have used a multi-disciplinary approach including petrography, burial history, scanning electron microscopy, and stable isotopes analysis. Results of the study showed that reservoir quality is influenced by both depositional facies and diagenesis. The proximal-fan, amalgamated sandstones facies have the best reservoir quality due to coarser grain size, lower pore-filling clays, and lower amount of ductile grains. In contrast, the distal-fan, mud-prone heterolithic facies have the poorest reservoir quality due to finer grain size, higher pore-filling clays, and higher amount of ductile grains. Pore-filling clays between 10 and 30% have a deleterious effect on reservoir quality, reducing porosities and permeabilities to generally <10% and <1 mD, respectively. Based on the relatively shallow, present-day burial depths of the studied Forties Sandstone Member (2200–3100 m TVDSS), the percentage of clay-coating coverage to significantly inhibit quartz cementation ranges from 40 to 50%. Detrital, grain-coating smectites, probably inherited from the shelf/continental environments and/or emplaced through sediment dewatering, have transformed into chlorite, illite, and illite-smectite. Calcite and siderite, where well-developed, have arrested mechanical compaction and also occluded porosity, thereby rapidly degrading reservoir quality in the sandstones; however, their dissolution by acidic pore fluids could potentially create secondary intergranular porosity, enhancing reservoir quality of the sandstones. Evidence presented demonstrates that, high quality reservoir sandstones that deviate from normal porosity-depth trends for submarine fans sandstones can be attributed to facies changes (composition and grain size) with a complex interplay of mechanical compaction, detrital clays and authigenic clay coatings inhibiting quartz cement precipitation.

Item Type:Article
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 29 March 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF
(263Kb)
Full text:Publisher-imposed embargo until 29 March 2023.
(AM) Accepted Manuscript
Available under License - Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives 4.0.
File format - PDF (Figures)
(5515Kb)
Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpetgeo.2021.105058
Publisher statement:© 2021 This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/
Date accepted:24 March 2021
Date deposited:29 July 2021
Date of first online publication:29 March 2021
Date first made open access:29 March 2023

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