Oklahoma State University

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The Mississippian carbonate play of the Mid-Continent is one of the largest resource plays in North America. It covers much of northern Oklahoma and southern Kansas and is part of the Silurian-Devonian-Mississippian petroleum system consisting of rich source rocks (Woodford Shale) encased in limestones and dolomites.


The reservoirs of the Mississippian carbonate play are the least understood of the resource plays in North America. It is a thick carbonate sequence of complex reservoirs consisting of fractured limestones, tripolitic cherts, and porous dolomites. In addition to multiple reservoir types, there are multiple fluid levels that effect productivity in these oil prone reservoirs. As a result of the size, complexity and limited understanding of these reservoirs early production from horizontal well exploration is highly variable.


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The purpose of this project is to describe the lower Mississippian carbonates based on depositional environment/geometry, modern sequence stratigraphy, and to define the diagenetic overprint in order to understand and predict more accurately reservoir characteristics, controls and distribution. This project is designed as an integrated study based on rock descriptions, log analysis and detailed stratigraphy. The diagenetic and petrophysical aspects of the study will lead to an understanding of the evolution of porosity and permeability in these rocks.



Project Goals


Characterization of Reservoir typesEstablish a comprehensive understanding of the reservoir rock framework through core, sample and outcrop analysis with litho-descriptions, thin sections, SEM, XRD, porosity, permeability and rock mechanics measurements.


Depositional Model: Based on rock data define and map depositional facies to understand facies-porosity controls and potential reservoir distribution in the subsurface.


Stratigraphic Framework: Establish a sequence stratigraphic framework for the basis of regional correlation and recognition of unconformities that control paleokarst and mineral diagenesis.


PetrophysicsCharacterize petrophysical signatures, including sonic velocity measurements for both reservoir and seal facies to establish the predictability of reservoir and non-reservoir facies in the subsurface.


Reservoir Development: Evaluate key early and late diagenetic processes that produce or occlude reservoir porosity and permeability; characterize microporosity and nanoporosity and fracture density


Reservoir GeometryMap key reservoir zones in relation to unconformities and the Mississippian Subcrop.


Geofluids Analysis: Determine the timing of generation and migration of petroleum and other geofluids relative to reservoir development.