Digital Petrography – Fundamental Tool for Understanding Carbonate Reservoirs of Campos Basin

Learn why petrographic characterization is a fundamental tool for understanding Carbonate Reservoirs of the Campos Basin.

The Challenge

Campos basin is the most prolific Brazilian basin. Hydrocarbons are sourced mainly from lacustrine rift section, which also contains important carbonate reservoir rocks. Diagenetic processes strongly influenced the porosity and permeability of these lacustrine carbonates. Understanding the controls and patterns of diagenesis is fundamental for the construction of geologically realistic and effective models for the exploration and production of these reservoirs.

Petroledge Petrography Carbonate

The Solution: Systematic Petrography using Petroledge®

A systematic petrographic study of the rift carbonate reservoirs and associated lithologies was developed in central Campos Basin with use of the Petroledge® software. The petrographic characterization, which comprised all major aspects of depositional structures, textures, primary composition and diagenesis, helped to define the depositional and post-depositional conditions of the succession, as well as the main controls on the reservoirs quality. The Petroledge® system has unique features, designed to facilitate and support petrographic description, as well as automated classifications and multi-format reporting, ensuring efficient and rapid data analysis. Systematic acquisition and processing of petrographic data and information provided by the Petroledge® software allows an optimized use of petrographic information for understanding of the distribution of porosity and permeability.

Geological Context

The origin of the Campos Basin is linked to the initial stage of separation of the African and South American continental blocks in the Early Cretaceous. The initial phase of basin evolution was characterized by rift half-grabens, where fluvial and lacustrine sediments were deposited. The vertical succession analyzed in this study interval is composed of a siliciclastic and volcanoclastic basal section, covered by a complex succession of ooidal stevensite arenites, bioclastic grainstones and rudstones (which includes the reservoirs), and mudrocks.

Results

The integration of the results of the petrography with seismic, stratigraphic and sedimentological information allowed to conclude that:

  • The analyzed rocks are composed of extrabasinal sediments (siliciclastic and volcanoclastic grains and siliciclastic mud) and mainly intrabasinal carbonate and stevensite constituents.
  • The main carbonate rocks correspond to ostracod grainstones and bivalve rudstones, commonly known as “coquinas”, which correspond to the main reservoirs.
  • There is widespread mixing of the bivalve bioclasts with stevensite ooids and peloids. As the precipitation of stevensite occurs only at highly alkaline conditions (pH> 10, high concentration of Mg and Si), which would be intolerable by the bivalves, such mixing would be possible only through re-sedimentation. The distribution of the seismic facies corresponding to the bioclastic deposits and their massive structure indicate that this re-sedimentation took place from different shallow water environments to deep lacustrine settings, though gravitational flows.
  • The mixing of bioclastic and stevensitic constituents has important implications for the quality of the rift reservoirs. Hybrid deposits with significant mixing are commonly strongly cemented, while rudstones with minor or no mixing with stevensitic grains show better preservation of interparticle porosity. These best reservoirs would correspond either to bioclastic deposits in their in situ shallow sites, or to re-sedimented deposits that were not mixed with stevensite sediments.

The systematic petrography of the bioclastic carbonate reservoirs of Campos Basin allowed by the Petroledge® software was essential for the understanding of depositional and post-depositional conditions of the rift succession, as well as of the main controls on the quality of the reservoirs.

Author

  • Sabrina Danni Altenhofen – Endeeper

Systematic Petrography Supports Petrofacies Definition and Porosity Distribution Understanding in Pre-Salt Reservoirs

Learn how systematic petrography guided by software helps geologists to define reservoir petrofacies and understand porosity distribution in Pre-Salt Reservoirs.

The Challenge

Understanding the controls and distribution patterns of the quality of complex and heterogeneous lithic pre-salt reservoirs of Sergipe-Alagoas Basin, northeastern Brazil, is of key importance for the optimization of their production.

The Solution

Quantitative petrographic analyses of 135 thin sections performed with the Petroledge® software allowed the definition of reservoir petrofacies according to the main textural and structural attributes, essential primary composition, and main diagenetic processes affecting the types of and distribution of porosity and permeability in the reservoirs.

Background

Pre-salt sandstones and conglomerates of the Sergipe-Alagoas Basin represent rare examples of lithic oil reservoirs rich in ductile low-grade metamorphic rock fragments, such as phyllite, schist, and slate, showing a complex diagenetic evolution. The reservoirs are very heterogeneous, with intercalation of partially cemented porous areas and tight areas intensely cemented by dolomite. The main diagenetic processes affecting the analyzed samples were generated before compaction, in shallow burial conditions, under the influence of ascending thermobaric and alkaline depositional fluids.

Systematic Petrography using Petroledge®

Petroledge® software allows performing detailed petrographic descriptions and interpretations in a systematic workflow, and storing and processing petrographic information within a relational database. An extensive knowledge base works integrated with analytical tools for providing several automatic classification, provenance and diagenesis interpretation.

Results

The systematic petrographic characterization of the pre-salt lithic reservoirs made possible by use of the Petroledge® software, revealed the following:
• Predominance of siliciclastic rocks, medium- to coarse-grained sandstones and conglomerates, massive or with irregular lamination.
• The most abundant detrital constituents are low-grade metamorphic rock fragments (essentially phyllite and schist) and granitic/gneissic plutonic rock fragments.
• Some samples containing ooids, peloids, microbial and recrystallized carbonate intraclasts were classified as hybrid arenites.
• Dolomite is the main diagenetic mineral, mainly filling intergranular pores as blocky and macrocrystalline cement, and replacing grains, locally as discrete blocky crystals.
• Dolomite cementation played an essential role on porosity reduction, where most pores were filled, or preservation, where partial cementation supported the framework, limiting compaction.
• Preserved primary intergranular porosity is much more abundant in the siliciclastic rocks than in the hybrid rocks. Intragranular porosity, mainly from dissolution of feldspars is very abundant in the siliciclastic rocks.
• Mechanical compaction is observed mostly by the deformation of mica grains, metamorphic fragments and mud intraclasts, locally promoting the formation of pseudomatrix.

Systematic Reservoir Characterization and Evaluation

In this study, the influence of diagenesis, depositional texture and primary composition on the quality of the reservoirs was evaluated through the definition of reservoir petrofacies. Dolomite cementation was recognized as the main diagenetic process controlling porosity distribution in the reservoirs. The reservoir petrofacies were separated into four petrofacies associations, according to total porosity, intergranular porosity and cementation: good quality, medium quality, low quality/cemented, and low quality/compacted. Systematic acquisition and processing of petrographic data and information provided by the Petroledge® software supported a better understanding of the distribution of porosity and permeability in the complex lithic pre-salt reservoirs of Sergipe-Alagoas Basin.

Reservoir Petrography - Petroledge
Reservoir Petrography – Petroledge

Author

  • Sabrina Danni Altenhofen – Endeeper