AAPG Foundation 2019 Grants-in-Aid Projects

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Architecture and reservoir quality of confined deep-water lobe reservoirs: Insights from the Angel Formation, NW Shelf, Australia.


Deep-water lobe complexes are important hydrocarbon reservoirs in many basins (e.g. Gulf of Mexico, North Sea) and offer potential sites for carbon capture and storage. Spatial confinement is a first-order control on the stratigraphic architecture of lobe complexes, and thus reservoir quality and the compartmentalization of related reservoirs. For example, confinement can lead to lobes that stack aggradationally by restricting lateral migration. However, limitations in the resolution of seismic reflection data make it challenging to map the internal architecture of lobe complexes at economically viable burial depths, especially as individual lobes pinch-out. This project aims to develop conceptual models for confined lobes deposited in settings characterized by different topographic configurations using seismic reflection and well data. The early post-rift Upper Jurassic Angel Fm. of the Dampier sub-basin, NW shelf, Australia contains hydrocarbon-filled deep-water lobes. The distribution and connectivity of the Angel Fm. lobes are poorly-understood due to the complicated stratigraphic architecture imposed by early post-rift inherited topography and varying levels of confinement. Core analysis will permit identification of sedimentary facies, quantification of bed thickness trends, and stratigraphic and spatial distribution of net and non-net reservoir units. Facies models based on core observations will calibrate lower resolution data (e.g. well logs and seismic reflection data) to track reservoir quality changes across lobes where no core data is available. Advancing workflows for the identification of sub-seismic facies distributions and stacking patterns in confined deep-water lobe systems will improve well placement and hydrocarbon recovery in stratigraphic plays.