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Influence of Depositional Environment and Diagenesis on Gas Reservoir Properties in St. Peter Sandstone, Michigan Basin

William B. Harrison III, Timothy M. Turmelle, David A. Barnes

The St. Peter Sandstone in the Michigan basin subsurface is rapidly becoming a major exploration target for natural gas. This reservoir was first proven with the successful completion of the Dart-Edwards 7-36 (Falmouth field, Missaukee County, Michigan) in 1981. Fifteen fields now are known, with a maximum of three producing wells in any one field. The production from these wells ranges from 1 to more than 10 MMCFGD on choke, with light-gravity condensate production of up to 450 b/d. Depth to the producing intervals ranges from about 7,000 ft to more than 11,000 ft.

The St. Peter Sandstone is an amalgamated stack of shoreface and shelf sequences more than 1,100 ft in thickness in the basin center and thinning to zero at the basin margins. Sandstone composition varies from quartzarenite in the coarser sizes to subarkose and arkose in the finer sizes. Thin silty/shaly lithologies and dolomite-cemented sandstone intervals separate the porous sandstone packages. Two major lithofacies are recognized in the basin: a coarse-grained, well-sorted quartzarenite with various current laminations and a fine-grained, more poorly sorted subarkose and arkose with abundant bioturbation and distinct vertical and horizontal burrows.

Reservoir quality is influenced by original depositional and diagenetic fabrics, but there is inversion of permeability and porosity with respect to primary textures in the major lithofacies. The initially highly porous and permeable, well-sorted, coarser facies is now tightly cemented with syntaxial quartz cement, resulting in a low-permeability, poor quality reservoir. The more poorly sorted, finer facies with initially lower permeabilities did not receive significant fluid flux until it passed below the zone of quartz cementation. This facies was cemented with carbonate which has subsequently dissolved to form a major secondary porosity reservoir.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91038©1987 AAPG Annual Convention, Los Angeles, California, June 7-10, 1987.