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Slope Channel Architecture and Reservoir Characterization in a Growth Basin, Eocene Morillo Turbidite System (South-Central Pyrenees, Spain)

Moody, Jeremiah D.1; Bouroullec, Renaud 1; Pyles, David 1; Clark, Julian 2; Hoffman, Matthew 1; Setiawan, Prianto 1
1 Chevron Center of Research Excellence, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.
2 Chevron Energy Technology Company, San Ramon, CA.

The Eocene Morillo 1 turbidite system in the Ainsa Basin, southern Spanish Pyrenees, provides a rare opportunity to study the facies distribution and stratigraphic architecture of submarine channels that converge onto a compressional structure which was active during deposition. To date, little outcrop data exists that have documented such depositional systems, making it extremely challenging for the oil and gas industry to constrain reservoir models for analogues reservoirs (i.e. Gulf of Mexico, Brunei, Nigeria, and Angola). This outcrop study produces several cross sections of Morillo 1 outcrops, detailing the stratigraphic architecture of individual channels, channel complexes and channel complex sets using stratigraphic columns, interpreted photopanels, paleocurrent data, and correlation panels.

With these data, many key lessons were learned about the Morillo 1 Turbidite System. First, stratigraphic architecture and facies changed in submarine channels that converged towards a growing compressional structure. Second, in the proximal slope deposits, where weak structural confinement exists, both channel complexes and individual channel elements show minimal connectivity near the systems margins and moderate connectivity near the systems axis. Conversely, in the distal slope deposits, where there is strong structural confinement, the channel complexes and individual channels have a substantial amount of connectivity both in the axis and margins. Third, we learned how the architecture, occurrence, and facies distribution of channel overbank deposits changed in slope channels that converged towards a compressional growth structure. Finally, we learned that the reservoir quality in the Morillo 1 turbidite system is better after the channels converged along a compressional growth structure.

In light of the lessons learned, this study has given us a better understanding of the internal architecture and facies distribution of stacked channel reservoirs that formed in a structurally active basin and permitted us to construct a model for such reservoirs.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90090©2009 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, Denver, Colorado, June 7-10, 2009