Characterization of Facies and Permeability Patterns in Carbonate Reservoirs Based on Outcrop Analogs

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More than 13 billion barrels (Bbbl) of mobile oil and 17 Bbbl of residual oil will remain in the San Andres and Grayburg reservoir at abandonment under current development practices. Through the development and application of new recovery technology, a large part of this resource can be recovered. This report focuses on research for the development and testing of new techniques for improving recovery of this resource. Outcrop and subsurface geologic and engineering data are utilized to develop new methodologies through the integration of geologic observations and engineering data for improving numerical models that predict reservoir performance more accurately.

Extensive regional mapping of the 14-mile by 1,200-foot San Andres outcrop, located on the Algerita Escarpment, Guadalupe Mountains, New Mexico, demonstrates that the San Andres carbonate-ramp complex is composed of multiple depositional sequences that have significant basinward shifts in reservoir-quality facies tracts occurring across sequence boundaries. Detailed geologic and petrophysical mapping of three reservoir-quality facies tracts demonstrates that the fundamental scale of geologic description for reservoir characterization is the parasequence and its component rock-fabric-based facies. Descriptions of cores from the Seminole San Andres Unit illustrate that the parasequence is also the fundamental geologic scale for reservoir mapping in the subsurface.


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