Mississippian Characterization Research in NW Arkansas
Christopher Liner, Doy Zachry, and Walter Manger
Worldwide, about two thirds oil and gas reserves are estimated to be unconventional. These plays exploit reservoirs with low permeability and/or porosity making them difficult to characterize and produce. Difficult and expensive enhanced recovery methods such as precision horizontal drilling and multi-stage fracking make unconventional plays much more challenging than conventional hydrocarbon targets. Many unconventional plays are active in and around Arkansas, including the Miss Lime play in Northern Oklahoma and Kansas. The University of Arkansas can claim 70 years of investigation into the Mississippian section by faculty and students. We propose an ambitious, long-term plan to develop a digital 3D geomodel of the Mississippian over a 4000 square mile area of northern Arkansas and southwest Missouri. The goal is integration of information on all scales to build a regional geomodel of the Mississippian, characterizing this unconventional reservoir at scales unavailable in typical exploration and production data. Our research will support expanding exploration and production activity in northern Oklahoma and Kansas. We plan to characterize the unconventional Mississippian formation in outcrop and near surface occurrence on length scales from the very small (core analysis and well logs) to large features seen in remote sensing and commercial 3D seismic surveys. While this effort recognizes the many scales of data routinely used in hydrocarbon exploration, key aspects of our work are calibration and quantification through advanced outcrop technology and linkage of all scales of investigation. Our work will strive to subdivide the Mississippian section into meaningful intervals that can be mapped from outcrop and with typical petroleum exploration data (core, wireline and image logs, and 3D seismic).
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90176©AAPG Mid-Continent Meeting, Wichita, Kansas, October 12-15, 2013