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Abstract: Cretaceous Tide-Dominated Carbonate Ramp: Comparison of Reservoir Heterogeneity in Tide- Versus Wave-Dominated Carbonate Ramp Systems

Charles Kerans

Cretaceous (upper Albian) carbonate ramp strata, Pecos River Canyon, Texas, provide a uniquely continuous exposure of a tide-dominated ramp reservoir analog. The continuous 100-km shelf to-basin outcrop begins in inner ramp mud-rich facies that record both high-frequency (20-100 ky) and intermediate frequency (>200 ky) cyclicity. The ramp-crest is up to 40 km across depositional dip. Intermediate-scale cycles in the ramp crest include basal oyster and toucasid wackestones, chondrodontid-rudist packstones, rudist-skeletal grainstones, and caprinid biostromes. Ramp-crest grainstones are 4-23 m in thickness and extend more than 20 km in a shelf to basin direction. Rudist biostromes are 3-7 m in thickness and are up to several kilometers in dip continuity except in deeper uter ramp settings where 100- 200 m wide mounds are more common. The ramp crest is dominated by grain-rich facies with moderate to high permeability. Toucasid wackestones and oyster marls are 1-5 m in thickness and extend tens of kilometers in a dip direction, representing potential fluid flow barriers.

Wave-dominated ramp systems of the Permian of West Texas provide a contrast to the Cretaceous tide-dominated setting. Low-permeability high-frequency cycle base mudstones and high-permeability cycle-top grainstones are preserved in both inner ramp and ramp crest settings. Fluid-flow modeling of these Permian wave-dominated reservoir strata illustrates that the intercalation of thin high- and low-permeability layers result in crossflow trapping and thief zones controlling the position and amount of remaining oil saturation. The depositional homogeneity of the Cretaceous tide-dominated ramp indicates that diagenetic heterogeneities and gravitational effects are potentially dominant controls on reservoir performance for these strata.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90956©1995 AAPG International Convention and Exposition Meeting, Nice, France