Reservoir Quality and Rock Properties Modeling – Triassic and Jurassic Sandstones, Greater Shearwater Area, UK Central North Sea

This paper by geoscientists from Shell as well as Geocosm’s Linda Bonnell shows how Geocosm’s Touchstone system for reservoir quality prediction can be linked to rock physics models. It also documents successful pre-drill predictions made using this approach.

The complex burial and diagenetic histories of the Jurassic Fulmar and Triassic Skagerrak sandstones in the UK Central North Sea present significant challenges with regard to reservoir quality and rockproperty prediction. Commercial reservoir quality is retained despite deep burial and associated high temperatures and pressures. Shallow marine Fulmar sands are normally compacted (mean IGV 26±3%) yet have porosities of 21-33%. Porosity was preserved through inhibition of quartz cementation by clay and microquartz coatings, and enhanced by dissolution of framework grains (~5%). Skagerrak fluvial sands are more compacted (mean IGV 23±2%), exhibit minor feldspar dissolution(<1%), and have porosities of 16-27%. Quartz cement averages only 2±1.5% due to robust chlorite coats that cover 80% (±13%) of quartz surfaces.We modeled reservoir quality evolution using the forward diagenetic model Touchstone, which simulates porosity loss due to compaction and quartz cementation. Quantitative petrographic analyses and burial history data were used to calibrate Touchstone model parameters. The results were applied to deeper prospects for pre-drill prediction of porosity and permeability. In parallel, petrophysical data were used to characterize the elastic properties of the sandstones to provide a basis for quantitative seismic forward modeling. Experimental data and core-calibrated petrophysical results, reflecting variable in situ fluids and saturations, were used to build an elastic properties model. The model is robust and was used to generate fluid-filled sandstone properties, incorporating Touchstone results, for prospect-specific seismic attribute modeling. Well results from exploration wells are in good agreement with pre-drill Touchstone and elastic properties model predictions.