Regional diagenetic porosity change in palaeocene oilfield sandstones, U.K. North Sea

Stewart, Robert Neill Traill (1995) Regional diagenetic porosity change in palaeocene oilfield sandstones, U.K. North Sea. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

Full text available as:
[thumbnail of 1995stewartphd_Redacted.pdf] PDF
Download (40MB)
Printed Thesis Information:


Palaeocene Montrose Group sandstones form a regionally extensive sequence of
stacked sandbodies within the Central North Sea. The diagenetic sequence has been
characterised as chlorite; micro-dolomite; pyrite; early carbonate concretions;
dissolution of feldspars; steady precipitation of kaolinite during burial; quartz
overgrowths increasing during deep burial; late calcite concretions; illite.
Epigenetic chlorite, and pyrite precipitated within depositional marine porefluids
(a180 -0.9%oSMOW). During the late Palaeocene-early Eocene, shortly after deposition
of the Montrose Group, a dramatic sea-level fall and eastward delta progradation of
the Moray group resulted in the regional meteoric flushing of the Montrose Group
sands. This flushing is recorded in the isotopic signatures of early carbonate
concretions, which indicate that aquifer waters had light meteoric a 180 values.
Many of these concretions precipitated from bacterially-mediated reactions. This
included fermentation and shallow anaerobic oxidation of hydrocarbons migrating
3km vertically from the underlying Kimmeridge Clay. Examination of 115 well logs
shows that locations of vertical migration were structurally controlled, above faulted
graben edges, or above thick shales along graben axes. Strontium ratios indicate
that dissolution of detrital calcite supplied the calcium.
Kaolinite volumes are usually 2-4%; anomalously high volumes of kaolinite (up to
12%) are found close to deltaic palaeo-shorelines and may represent precipitation
during vigorous meteoric flushing of the sandstones. Kaolinite isotopic compositions
throughout the Central North Sea indicate that precipitation took place within mixed
meteoric-marine pore fluids, whilst surrounding marine shales compacted into a
meteoric aquifer, over a temperature range of 30-8S·C. Deuterium values are
unusually depleted -53 to -76, and suggest a combination of meteoric water and
organic interaction.
Quartz cement appears to be generally depth-controlled and forms about 4% at 8,SOOft
burial. There is also a possibility of 8% quartz overgrowth adjacent to salt diapirs.
Secondary porosity does not vary much with depth, always being 2-4%. This·
indicates that any increase in porosity due to dissolution of feldspars has been
thwarted by continued compaction and no net increase of porosity has occurred.
During precipitation of late calcite concretions, pore-water a 180 was isotopically
marine and C supplied by decarboxylation. This indicates that porewaters had
become dominated by the introduction of evolved-marine compactional waters from
overlying Palaeogene mudrocks. Late carbonate concretions contain up to 10%
M nCO 3 and are enriched in radiogenic 87 Sr compared to Palaeocene shell ratios. This
trend is similar to that noted in cements from the underlying Chalk. It is possible
that strontium-rich fluids may have been transferred vertically into the Palaeocene
from the deeper-buried Jurassic sequence.
Porosity-depth profiles from conventional core analysis data in 42 wells show
porosities of 22-36%, with permeabilities of 40-3,000mD at 5,700-9,200ft. The
dominant controls are depositional facies, and compaction. Dewatering structures
can reduce vertical permeability by lOx. Authigenic chlorite maintains high
porosities, but with permeability reduced by lOx. Vertical gradients of porosity and
of permeability with depth exhibit "bow curves", which· decrease at the top and base
of each channel sand unit. Shorter core lengths give systematically higher rates of
porosity decline, due to insufficient sampling of depositionally thick channels,
whereas cores longer than 30m give gradients of 1. Porosity varies
regionally, but no regional variation of decline-gradient was found.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Subjects: Q Science > QE Geology
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences > Earth Sciences
Supervisor's Name: Supervisor, not known
Date of Award: 1995
Depositing User: Ms Anikó Szilágyi
Unique ID: glathesis:1995-6327
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 07 May 2015 09:08
Last Modified: 07 May 2015 10:19

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year