Reservoir characterization and sequence stratigraphy of Permian San Andres platform carbonates, Fullerton Field, Permian Basin, West Texas
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The San Andres Formation (Permian, Guadalupian) is the most prolific oil reservoir in the Permian basin. However, despite more than 60 years of production, an estimated 70% of the original oil in place remains. Recovery of this huge resource requires a better understanding of facies and reservoir framework, which, in turn, must be accomplished using a rock-based reservoir characterization process. This high resolution correlation method is essential for understanding the complex heterogeneities found in shallow water platform carbonates. Steps in the construction of a rock-based reservoir model in the Fullerton San Andres Unit (FSAU) included (1) defining depositional facies and primary facies groups; (2) creating an outcrop depositional model; (3) integrating facies descriptions with gamma-ray and porosity log data; (3) defining field-wide high frequency sequences based on wireline logs and cycle stacking patterns; (4) developing a sequence-based reservoir framework and 3-dimensional reservoir architecture; (5) defining porosity and permeability relationships for facies groups based on rock fabric characteristics. In Fullerton Field, the San Andres Formation comprises high frequency cycles of upward shoaling shallow-marine carbonates. Studies of nine cores (1730 ft) in FSAU reveal four peritidal and five shallow subtidal depositional facies based on texture, fossil assemblages, and sedimentary structures. Peritidal facies are dominantly laminated carbonate mudstones, interpreted as deposited on an intermittently exposed tidal flat. Shallow subtidal facies are peloid and mollusk dominated wackestones and packstones, interpreted as deposited in a shallow protected lagoon. Cycle stacking patterns indicate four complete upward shallowing high frequency sequences. Comparison of high frequency sequences between cored wells shows a high degree of similarity in the overall generalized vertical sequence, especially in the proportions of peritidal and subtidal components within each sequence. Three-dimensional reservoir characterization, using 132 gamma ray and porosity logs, reveals that depositional sequences are largely flat-lying with local topographic variation identified as the fundamental influence on lateral facies distribution within the reservoir section. Integration of core and petrophysical data from surrounding fields places FSAU in the larger sequence stratigraphic framework of the Central Basin Platform. The regional depositional sequence formed a series of depositional environments ranging from intermittently exposed to open marine. San Andres facies developed during south-easterly progradation of shallow water tidal flat and sabkha sediments over a deeper open marine shelf.