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Silica Phase Changes: Diagenetic Agent for Oil Entrapment, Lost Hills Field, California

JULANDER, DALE R., and DANIEL L. SZYMANSKI, Chevron U.S.A., Inc., Bakersfield, CA

The siliceous shales of the Monterey Group are the primary development target at Lost Hills. Silica phase changes have influenced the distribution and entrapment of hydrocarbons. With increasing temperature, opal A phase diatomite is converted to opal CT and finally quartz phase rock. All phases are low in permeability. The opal A diatomite is characteristically high in oil saturation and productive over much of the field. Conversion to opal CT lowers porosity and oil saturation. Productivity from this phase is dependent on structural position and fieldwide variations in oil viscosity and biodegradation. The deeper chert reservoir coincides with the opal CT to quartz phase transition. Porosity is again reduced in this transition, but saturations in the quartz phase rocks increase. Tes s in the chert reservoir indicate a single, low-permeability system, suggesting the importance of matric contribution. Resistivity and porosity in the diatomite, and resistivity and velocity in the chert, are the physical properties which best reflect saturation. Methods exploiting these properties (FMS, BHTV, borehole, and surface shear wave studies) should be helpful in further characterizing the reservoirs and identifying future pay.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)