ABSTRACT: Interdisciplinary Research for Reservoir Characterization in the Rocky Mountains--the WEST Approach
M. Lee Allison, Walter S. Snyder, Eric A. Erslev
Practical enhanced oil recovery requires knowledge of internal variations within reservoirs. Understanding any single aspect of a reservoir is no longer sufficient to tackle the very complex interactions present in real situations. An integrated multidisciplinary approach is mandatory if useful advances are to be achieved.
Western Earth Sciences Technologies (WEST) is a consortium of 12 major universities in six Rocky Mountain states that has assembled an interdisciplinary team of geoscientists, engineers, and other scientists to address problems of geologic reservoir characterization that will contribute to technologies of enhanced oil recovery.
Concurrent studies of three Rocky Mountain regions--foreland, thrust belt, and basin and range--afford the most practical opportunity to conduct process-oriented research that cannot be accomplished solely via down-hole experiments. Foreland studies will be conducted in the Oregon basin/Rattlesnake Mountain area of Wyoming for the Laramide project and East Anschutz field/Bear Creek anticline in Wyoming and Idaho for the Thrust Belt project. First-year research in these two projects will include sedimentological, stratigraphic, and diagenetic studies of heterogeneities of the Madison Group, Tensleep Formation, and Nugget Sandstone; large- and small-scale structural analysis and preliminary thermochronology investigations; and surface petrophysical measurements combined with compilation of subsurface data. First-year Basin and Range studies in the Pine Valley-Railroad Valley trend of Nevada include sedimentologic and facies analysis of reservoir units (Guilmette, Diamond Peak, and Chainman formations, Ely Limestone, and Tertiary volcanic rocks); fission-track thermochronology of selected reservoir blocks; structural studies; and geophysical investigations involving deeper seismic reflection and magnetotelluric studies.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91002©1990 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Denver, Colorado, September 16-19, 1990