Sequence stratigraphic characterisation of petroleum reservoirs in Block 11b/12b of the Southern Outeniqua Basin
Nfor, Nformi Emmanuel
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The main purpose of this study was to identify and characterize the various sand prone depositional facies in the deepwater Southern Outeniqua Basin which generally tend to form during lowstand (marine regression) conditions producing progradational facies. It made use of sequence stratigraphy and turbidite facies models to predict the probable location of deepwater reservoirs in the undrilled Southern Outeniqua Basin using data from basin margin Pletmos Basin and the deepwater Southern Outeniqua Basin. Basin margin depositional packages were correlated in time and space with deepwater packages. It was an attempt at bridging the gap between process-related studies of sedimentary rocks and the more traditional economic geology f commercial deposits of petroleum using prevailing state-of-the-art in basin analysis. It enabled the most realistic reconstructions of genetic stratigraphy and offered the greatest application in exploration. Sequence stratigraphic analysis and interpretation of seismics, well logs, cores and biostratigraphic data was carried out providing a chronostratigraphic framework of the study area within which seismic facies analysis done. Nine (9) seismic lines that span the shallow/basin margin Pletmos basin into the undrilled deepwater Southern Outeniqua basin were analysed and interpreted and the relevant seismic geometries were captured. Four (4) turbidite depositional elements were identified from the seismic lines: channel, overbank deposits, haotic deposits and basin plain (basin floor fan) deposits. These were identified from the relevant seismic geometries (geometric attributes) observed on the 2D seismic lines. Thinning attributes, unconformity attributes and seismic facies attributes were observed from the seismic lines. This was preceded by basic structural analyses and interpretation of the seismic lines. according to the structural analysis and interpretation, deposition trended NW-SE and NNW-SSE as we go deepwater into the Southern Outeniqua basin. Well logs from six (6) of the interpreted wells indicated depositional channel fill as well as basin floor fans. This was identified in well Ga-V1 and Ga-S1 respectively. A bell and crescent shape gamma ray log signature was observed in well Ga-V1 indicating a fining up sequence as the channel was abandoned while an isolated massive mound-shape gamma ray log signature was observed in Ga-S1 indicating basin plain well-sorted sands. Core analyses and interpretation from two southern-most wells revealed three (3) facies which were derived based on Walker‘s 1978, turbidite facies. The observed facies were: sandstone, sand/shale and shale facies. Sequence stratigraphic characterisation of petroleum reservoirs in block 11b/12b of the Southern Outeniqua Basin. Cores of well Ga-V1 displayed fine-grained alternations of thin sandstone beds and shales belonging to the thin-bedded turbidite facies. This is typical of levees of the upper fan channel but could easily be confused with similar facies on the basin plain. According to Walker, 1978 such facies form under conditions of active fan progradation. Ga-S1 cores displayed not only classic turbidite facies where there was alternating sand and shale sections but showed thick uninterrupted sections of clean sands. This is typical of basin plain deposits. Only one well had biostratigraphic data though being very limited in content. This data revealed particular depth sections and stratigraphic sections as having medium to fast depositional rates. Such rates are characteristic of turbidite deposition from turbidity currents. This study as well as a complementary study by Carvajal et al., 2009 revealed that the Southern Outeniqua basin is a sand-prone basin with many progradational sequences in which tectonics and sediment supply rate have been significant factors (amongst others such as sea level change) in the formation of these deepwater sequences. In conclusion, the Southern Outeniqua basin was hereby seen as having a viable and unexplored petroleum system existing in this sand prone untested world class.