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Quantification of Static Connectivity between Deepwater Channels and Stratigraphically Adjacent Architectural Elements Using Outcrop Analogs

Funk, Jonathan *1; Slatt, Roger M.2; Pyles, David 3
(1) Global Exploration, Marathon Oil Corporation, Houston, TX.
(2) ConocoPhillips School of Geology and Geophysics, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK.
(3) Chevron Center of Research Excellence, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO.

This research uses data from well-exposed outcrops and published information to document static connectivity in Deepwater channelized systems. Two measures of static reservoir connectivity on outcrop analogs are proposed: margin connectivity and sand-on-sand connectivity. Margin connectivity (Cm) is the length between two stratigraphically adjacent elements not obstructed by a barrier normalized by the total length of the interface. Sand-on-sand connectivity (Cs) is the length of sand-on-sand contacts between two stratigraphically adjacent elements normalized by the total length of the interface.

The data and observations collected from this study include multiple outcrops from California’s ancient turbidite systems (Capistrano Formation at San Clemente State Beach and the Scripps Formation in La Jolla). These were compiled with data from additional domestic outcrops from the Brushy Canyon Formation, Cherry Canyon Formation, Jackfork Group, Lewis Shale, and supplementary data from published studies to describe connectivity between channel-fills and their stratigraphically adjacent elements.

Cm and Cs are analyzed with regard to four categories: (1) association of architectural elements, (2) stacking pattern of channel elements, (3) setting on the slope-to-basin profile, and (4) net sand content. Results are as follows. First, connectivity varies by association of architectural elements. Channel-lobe contacts have higher Cm and Cs than channel-channel and channel-levee contacts. Second, connectivity varies by stacking pattern of channel elements. Predominantly vertically stacked channel elements have higher Cm and Cs than predominantly laterally stacked channel elements. Also, disorganized non-sequentially stacked channel elements have higher Cm than organized systematically stacked channel elements. Third, connectivity varies by setting on the slope-to-basin profile. Channel elements in confined settings have higher Cm than both weakly confined and unconfined-distributive settings. Fourth, connectivity varies by net sand content. Channel elements with a high net sand content have higher Cm than those with a low net sand content.

Knowledge of a reservoir’s placement in these categories can be used to aid in the prediction of static connectivity and in the related reservoir heterogeneity. Furthermore, data presented herein can reduce Deepwater stratigraphic uncertainty and be used to constrain static connectivity on a 2-D plane in reservoir models.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90142 © 2012 AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition, April 22-25, 2012, Long Beach, California