Date(s) - 12/11/2018
11:30 am - 1:00 pm
Integration of High-Resolution Geochemical and Petrophysical Data with Process Sedimentology Interpretations of Subsurface Bone Spring and Upper Wolfcamp Formations, Delaware Basin, Texas
Jenn Pickering/Brian Driskill
Core observations and interpretations from conventional cores intersecting the Permian-aged Bone Spring and upper Wolfcamp formations in the Delaware Basin, West Texas, reveal that the dominant depositional mechanism to the deep basin was sediment gravity flows from the slope and surrounding margins. These event beds are composed of both calciclastic and siliciclastic sediments and range in thickness from millimeters to several meters, although most individual event beds are near or below log resolution. Due to the complexity of depositional sources and mechanisms, as well as the delivery of substantial volumes of reworked shallow water-sourced material into the depths of the basin, the resultant deepwater stratigraphy is both vertically and laterally heterolithic, despite having a limited grain size range. The heterogeneous nature of these episodic event strata combined with the thinness of many of the beds creates challenges for log interpretation, log correlation, and prediction of facies and rock properties away from core control.
By incorporating multiple datasets, including high resolution geochemical and petrophysical data collected from these cores, we have built a framework that relates core lithofacies and bed stacking patterns with fine-scale patterns in mineralogy, lithology, organic geochemistry, and rock properties that result from the episodic, gradational deposition of turbidity currents. Combining these datasets with a process-based sedimentological interpretation and an understanding of stratigraphic stacking patterns fills in mineralogic and rock property details between routine core analysis data points with a high degree of certainty. The resulting framework is a detailed interpretation of the Bone Spring and upper Wolfcamp sedimentology and stratigraphy at sub-log scale, which is transferable to the log domain, enabling a better understanding of geology from petrophysical logs, in the absence of core control.
Dr Jenn Pickering
Jenn Pickering earned a Ph.D. and M.S. in Earth Science at Vanderbilt University where she researched the Brahmaputra River response to tectonic deformation and its avulsion history using seismic data, weathering profiles, and radiocarbon dating in conjunction with facies, architectural, and provenance analysis. She presently works as a Research Geologist at Shell on an Integrated Geoscience team in the R&D organization. Her research involves the characterization of complex sedimentary environments for the purpose of developing predictive technologies to better understand the Earth’s subsurface. For the past few years she has focused on integrating process sedimentology with both unconventional exploration and development workflows. She will present insights from her detailed examination of thousands of feet of Bone Spring and Wolfcamp Delaware Basin core.