Geologic setting and reservoir characterization of Barnett Formation in southeast Fort Worth Basin, central Texas

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Liu, Xufeng

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The Mississippian Barnett Formation is a prolific shale-gas reservoir that was deposited in the Fort Worth Basin, Texas. Many previous studies of the Barnett Formation have been conducted in the main production area; few studies have been made of the Barnett Formation in the southern part of the basin, which is a less productive area. In the present research, several cores from the Barnett Formation in Hamilton County, southeast Fort Worth Basin, are studied in detail. Two vertical, continuous cores from Hamilton County, Texas, were studied to delineate the depositional setting, lithofacies, pore types, and reservoir quality of the Barnett Formation in the area. Five lithofacies were defined by analysis of the two cores: (1) laminated clay-rich silty and skeletal peloidal siliceous mudstone; 2) laminated skeletal silty peloidal siliceous mudstone; 3) nonlaminated silty peloidal calcareous mudstone; 4) laminated and nonlaminated skeletal calcareous mudstone; and 5) skeletal phosphatic packstone to grainstone. As indicated from this study, the dominant organic matter type is a mixture of Type II (major) and Type III (minor) kerogen having a mean TOC content of approximately 4%. Analysis of Rock Eval data shows that most of the interval is within the oil window; calculated Ro is approximately 0.9%. Organic geochemistry shows that the hydrocarbon generation potential of the abundant oil-prone kerogen was excellent. Mineralogical analysis reveals that the two types of siliceous mudstone, which are similar in composition to the siliceous mudstone in the main producing area in the northern Fort Worth Basin, are good for hydraulic fracturing and production, but they are also limited by their marginal thickness. Organic matter pores, which are the dominant pore types in these two cores, are consistent with pore types found in currently producing wells in the Newark East Field. This research also suggests that the deposition of Barnett Formation was controlled largely by basinal geometry, suspension settling, and slope-originated gravity-flow events. Skeletal deposits and carbonate-silt starved ripples suggest gravity-flow deposits and bottom-current reworking during deposition. Redox-sensitive elements and degree of pyritization both indicate anoxic/euxinic conditions during the deposition of the Barnett Formation.



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