Effects of Stratal Architecture and Diagenesis on Reservoir Development in the Grayburg Formation: South Cowden Field, Ector County, Texas

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The Grayburg Formation in the South Cowden field of eastern Ector County displays an internal stratal architecture that typifies Grayburg shallow-water platform successions throughout the Permian Basin. Study of core and wireline logs in South Cowden field documents three orders of cyclicity in the Grayburg. The entire Grayburg constitutes a single long-duration accommodation cycle that commenced with a major sea-level rise and flooding of the preexisting San Andres platform and ended with a major basinward shift in facies associated with sea-level fall prior to deposition of Queen Formation tidal-flat successions. Four high-frequency sequences are recognized within the Grayburg that correspond to higher frequency sea-level rise events. The basal Grayburg sequence consists of backstepping, low-energy, mud-dominated cycles and is not a contributor to production in the field. Grayburg sequence 2 documents extensive flooding of the San Andres platform by outer ramp fusulinid wackestone-packstone facies and subsequent aggradation of an extensive tidal-flat-capped, grain-dominated packstone-grainstone ramp crest succession. Renewed platform transgression in Grayburg sequence 3, demonstrated by even more extensive onlap of the platform by fusulinid facies, documents a maximum flooding event that is correlatable throughout the Grayburg in both outcrop and subsurface. This event forms the basis for correlation of the Grayburg succession throughout the Permian Basin. Grayburg sequence 4 reflects highstand reduction of platform-to-basin relief and a major basinward shift in facies tracts.


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