Quantification of Flow Unit and Bounding Element Properties and Geometries, Ferron Sandstone, Utah: Implications for Heterogeneity in Gulf Coast Tertiary Deltaic Reservoirs

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Outcrop mapping, field permeability measurements, petrographic analyses, petrophysical measurements, and pore-level modeling studies are being conducted on exposures of the Ferron Sandstone, east-central Utah, to develop a better understanding of the dimensions and internal arrangement of flow units, baffles, and barriers in sandstone gas reservoirs. The ultimate goals of this work are to establish methods for applying outcrop studies to reservoir characterization and to develop reservoir models that will guide infill drilling to maximize incremental gas reserve growth from fluvial-deltaic sandstone reservoirs.

Activities during the second year of this 3-year project focused on data collection and preliminary interpretations. Mapping and field permeability measurements were initiated on the seaward-stepping Ferron unit 2 sandstone. These results will provide a comparison with data collected during the 1990 field season when landward-stepping sandstones of Ferron unit 3 were examined. Framework grain and cement mineralogy and the composition of intergranular material were quantified for selected samples from unit 3. Petrophysical measurements were completed on 24 specimens from units 2, 4, and 3. Sections of the pore-level modeling code were rewritten to improve accuracy and efficiency, and scenarios were developed to model the effects of grain size, cementation, and compaction on porosity, single-phase permeability, and formation factor.

Preliminary results indicate that important differences exist in the internal geometry of landward- and seaward-stepping fluvial-deltaic sandstones. It was also found that closer-spaced permeability measurements improved the resolution of permeability structure. Petrographic studies documented differences in composition between fluvial, transgressive, delta-front, and distributary-channel sandstones; these differences in rock composition are reflected by differences in the mean permeability of these facies as measured on outcrop. Initial comparisons of pore-level model results with measured petrophysical properties are encouraging and suggest that refinements based on examination of the analyzed samples will lead to a close match between observed and modeled behavior.


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