Characterisation and Predictability of Microporous Limestones: Lessons from Four Decades of Progress in Hydrocarbon Reservoirs.

Characterisation and Predictability of Microporous Limestones: Lessons from Four Decades of Progress in Hydrocarbon Reservoirs

Tuesday 21st March 2017

Social gathering starts at 5:00PM

Presentation starts at 5:30PM

A vast majority of the limestone deposits over the world (including marine and lacustrine facies) are made up of extremely fine-grained and lithified carbonate mud (particles <10μm, generally called micrite or micritic matrix). Such deposits host a variably developed micropore and nanopore-dominated pore system (pores <10μm and <1μm, respectively), which can have large storage capacities (ie. porosity volume), locally equivalent to coarser grained and macroporous deposits, and can locally retain permeabilities that make them viable aquifers or hydrocarbon reservoirs. Such deposits have been described in most of the key worldwide hydrocarbon plays, either within conventional reservoirs (eg. North Sea chalk, Shuaiba and Mishrif Formations in the Middle East, etc), or in unconventional reservoirs (eg. Niobrara chalks) and aquifers. Moreover, long term diffusion of fluids through this very small and complex pore system is also a key issue for the storage of CO2 or industrial wastes as the diffusive and geomechanical properties of microporous carbonates can be extremely variable and different from more 'standard' deposits and siliciclastic rocks. Despite almost 40 years of international research, the characterisation and the origin of these microporous deposits remains challenging, mainly due to the high resolution observation tools needed for the study of these micron-scale facies. The aim of this talk is to present recent advances in the characterisation and prediction of microporous carbonate deposits. Clearly defined and readily applicable petrographical classifications provide the basis for a good understanding of how the sediment evolved through time and space in a particular sedimentological formation, which, in turn is critical for understanding the variations in reservoir properties and their compartmentalisation within reservoirs. Finally, this presentation will aim to establish conditions to explain how, why and where microporous and tight carbonates can be find in order to help with their upscalling, modelling and exploration, with a particular attention to the influence of exposure surfaces and associated diagenesis affecting neritic shallow marine limestones. .


Matthieu is one of Badley Ashton's UAE-based senior carbonate reservoir geologists. With established experience in the Middle East, Matthieu is currently working integrated sedimentology, diagenesis and reservoir quality evaluation researches dealing with carbonate plays of the Arabian Gulf and West Africa. After being the Lead Geologist of the Tight Carbonate Team, Matthieu became Badley Ashton's Operation Manager for the Middle East based in Abu Dhabi. Matthieu received his BSc, MSc and PhD at the University of Burgundy (Dijon - France), with his PhD conducted in conjunction with Total E&P. This research focused on the sedimentological-diagenetic origin of a microporous carbonate reservoir in the Middle-East, including the detailed characterisation of the micritic matrix and associated microporous pore systems. Matthieu's other research interests include sedimentology and sequence stratigraphy of ancient and recent carbonate platforms and the characterisation of diagenetic processes affecting carbonate sediments with integration into the regional framework and influence on the pore system. He is currently conducting research on the chemostratigraphy, and diagenesis of British chalk. Matthieu has undertaken teaching of regional geology, mapping and reservoir quality evaluation at both BSc and MSc levels, while co-supervising a variety of BSc and MSc carbonate research projects. .

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