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The Role of Evaporites in a Holistic Investigation of Arab Sequence Stratigraphy and the Related Depositional Sequences in the Northern Part of the Eastern Province, Saudi Arabia

Karl Leyrer1*, Franz O. Meyer2, and Arndt Peterhaensel3
1Saudi Aramco
2Carbonate Research Consulting, USA
3UP Transfer, Germany
*[email protected]

Middle East Arab reservoirs are among the most prolific in the world and their hydrocarbon-bearing intervals are well studied. The attempt to complete the understanding of the Arab Formation requires detailed analysis of the intervening non-reservoir rocks and evaporites as well. This study presents preliminary results of our investigation into the genesis and genetic relationships between Arab carbonate and Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit strata. It provides a detailed analysis of both types of strata and evidence for the evolution of thick Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit deposits through replacement processes whose initiation is intimately related to relative sea-level changes. We employed a descriptive classification for Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit in order to establish recurring patterns in the development of Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit strata and to distinguish between Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit of subaqueous depositional and diagenetic origin. Further analysis of relict carbonate found within Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit sections provided data about the composition of carbonate hosting diagenetically-emplaced Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit. The result of this study established that thick Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit intervals formed through an active consumption (Pacman-Previous HitAnhydriteNext Hit) of carbonate lithofacies interpreted to have a subtidal origin. Centimeter- to dm-thick polymictic carbonate breccias found in the carbonate and locally associated with Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit point toward Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit solution cumulates. Our correlation of core descriptions tied to wireline logs establishes the presence of Previous HitanhydriteNext Hit sections where open-marine carbonates should be. An integration of seemingly disjointed results led to the realization of a sequence stratigraphic model in which Previous HitanhydriteTop replacement of carbonate facies is intimately related to migrating groundwater tables during sea-level lowstands. This evolving sequence stratigraphic analysis has the potential of creating a high-resolution framework for defining new exploration opportunities. Perhaps more significantly it creates a paradigm for other investigation of carbonate-evaporite couplets.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90077©2008 GEO 2008 Middle East Conference and Exhibition, Manama, Bahrain