ABSTRACT: Stratigraphic Framework of Productive Carbonate Buildups
Stephen M. Greenlee, Patrick J. Lehmann
Hydrocarbon-productive carbonate buildups are found within a relatively narrow window of geologic time and stratigraphic settings. Because buildups are common exploration objectives in frontier and mature basins, an understanding of their stratigraphic occurrence permits them to be more accurately explored. Based on a worldwide survey, most production occurs in isolated periods of geologic time: Middle Silurian-Late Silurian, late Middle and Late Devonian, Late Pennsylvanian and Early Permian, Late Cretaceous, Paleocene, and Miocene. Our results suggest that many factors of successful buildup plays are predictable on the basis of geohistory analysis and of basin-filling stratal patterns.
Deposition of extensive source beds and thick buildups coincide with second-order eustatic rises. Other primary controls on the temporal distribution of buildups include reef-building organism type, mineralogy, and paleolatitude. Geohistory analysis indicates that periods immediately prior to or during the earliest portion of rapid increases of accommodation correspond to times of productive buildup growth. During this time, shelf margins step landward and buildups become progressively more areally restricted. Buildups eventually are unable to keep pace with high rates of accommodation increase and often are overlain by distal toes of clinoforms within regressive wedges deposited during subsequent periods with lower rates of accommodation increase. The result is a stratigraphic juxtap sition of mounded reservoir carbonate and deep-marine sealing shale. This basin-fill position accounts for over 70% of known buildup-reservoired hydrocarbons. Buildups deposited in overlying regressive wedges are often lower relief and prone to seal problems.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91003©1990 AAPG Annual Convention, San Francisco, California, June 3-6, 1990