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High Resolution Sequence Stratigraphic Architecture and Reservoir Characterization of the Mississippian (Osagean) Bentonville Formation, Northwestern Arkansas

Buddy Price
Boone Pickens School of Geology, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK, USA
[email protected]


The Mississippian Bentonville Formation consists of a carbonate and chert interval capable of producing hydrocarbons in the mid-continent. There is a high level of heterogeneity associated with the Bentonville resulting in inadequate correlations and poor well performance in some cases. The primary goal of this research is to identify the impact of high frequency (tens to hundreds of thousands of years) sea level change on the distribution of facies and subsequent reservoir properties within the Bentonville Formation in an effort to explain the complexity within the unit.

Outcrop studies will provide a two-dimensional understanding of the formation. Thin section analysis in will aid in identification of facies stacking patterns and cyclicity in the outcrop. High resolution imaging will allow for mapping facies geometries and for lateral correlation of cycles. Spectral gamma ray logging will be used to help identify cycle-bounding flooding surfaces, and to potentially tie rock characteristics from outcrop to the subsurface. Modern analogs will then be integrated into the depositional model to provide constraints on geometrical attributes and facies distribution in plan-view not provided by outcrop.

The end result should produce a sound sequence stratigraphic model that will explain facies distribution in three dimensions and provide constraints on their geometrical attributes which in turn will help to describe trends in porosity and permeability within the Bentonville Formation. This will aid in hydrocarbon exploration and development, as well as provide guidelines for development of similar reservoirs in the Mississippian.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90199 © 2014 AAPG Foundation 2014 Grants-in-Aid Projects