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Abstract: Low Resistivity, Low Contrast Pays

Robert M. Sneider, John T. Kulha

Major hydrocarbon accumulations have been produced over the past 40 years in low resistivity, low contrast (LRLC) sands in the Gulf of Mexico Basin (GOM). LRLC reservoirs were commonly considered wet, tight, misidentified as a shale or overlooked, but are being re-evaluated now in other world basins, including Latin America. Seismic response, drill cuttings, cores, log response, petrophysical models, and production testing provide an integrated LRLC evaluation.

Causes of LRLC pay in the GOM include: laminated clean sands with shales; silts or shaly sands; clay-coated sands; glauconitic sands; sands with interstitial dispersed clay; sands with disseminated pyrite or other conductive minerals; clay-lined burrows; clay clasts; altered volcanic/feldspathic framework grains; and very fine-grained sand with very saline water. LRLC depositional systems include: deepwater fans, with levee-channel complexes; delta front and toe deposits; shingle turbidites; and alluvial and deltaic channel fills.

Geological and petrophysical models developed in the GOM for evaluation of LRLC pay are applicable in Latin America. An Archie clean sand or Waxman-Smits shaly sand model are commonly used to evaluate LRLC anomalies. Often, shaly sand models are not necessarily suited for LRLC evaluation. The Archie lithology exponent (m) and saturation exponent (n) for many LRLC reservoirs range from 1.4 to 1.85, and 1.2 to 1.8, respectively. In thinly laminated LRLC reservoirs, net sand distribution is identified with high resolution logging tools, rock examination and interval testing.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90951©1996 AAPG International Conference and Exhibition, Caracas, Venezuela