Improved imaging and analysis of chlorite in reservoirs and modern day analogues: new insights for reservoir quality and provenance

Worden, RH, Utley, James EP, Butcher, Alan R, Griffiths, J, Wooldridge, LJ and Lawan, AY
(2020) Improved imaging and analysis of chlorite in reservoirs and modern day analogues: new insights for reservoir quality and provenance. APPLICATION OF ANALYTICAL TECHNIQUES TO PETROLEUM SYSTEMS, 484 (1). pp. 189-204.

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<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title> <jats:p>Chlorite is a key mineral in the control of reservoir quality in many siliciclastic rocks. In deeply buried reservoirs, chlorite coats on sand grains prevent the growth of quartz cements and lead to anomalously good reservoir quality. By contrast, an excess of chlorite – for example, in clay-rich siltstone and sandstone – leads to blocked pore throats and very low permeability. Determining which compositional type is present, how it occurs spatially, and quantifying the many and varied habits of chlorite that are of commercial importance remains a challenge. With the advent of automated techniques based on scanning electron microscopy (SEM), it is possible to provide instant phase identification and mapping of entire thin sections of rock. The resulting quantitative mineralogy and rock fabric data can be compared with well logs and core analysis data. We present here a completely novel Quantitative Evaluation of Minerals by SCANning electron microscopy (QEMSCAN®) SEM–energy-dispersive spectrometry (EDS) methodology to differentiate, quantify and image 11 different compositional types of chlorite based on Fe : Mg ratios using thin sections of rocks and grain mounts of cuttings or loose sediment. No other analytical technique, or combination of techniques, is capable of easily quantifying and imaging different compositional types of chlorite. Here we present examples of chlorite from seven different geological settings analysed using QEMSCAN® SEM–EDS. By illustrating the reliability of identification under automated analysis, and the ability to capture realistic textures in a fully digital format, we can clearly visualize the various forms of chlorite. This new approach has led to the creation of a digital chlorite library, in which we have co-registered optical and SEM-based images, and validated the mineral identification with complimentary techniques such as X-ray diffraction. This new methodology will be of interest and use to all those concerned with the identification and formation of chlorite in sandstones and the effects that diagenetic chlorite growth may have had on reservoir quality. The same approach may be adopted for other minerals (e.g. carbonates) with major element compositional variability that may influence the porosity and permeability of sandstone reservoirs.</jats:p>

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: 37 Earth Sciences, 3703 Geochemistry, 3705 Geology
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2019 15:46
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2024 21:05
DOI: 10.1144/SP484.10
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