thumbnail

Depositional and diagenetic history and petroleum geology of the Jurassic Norphlet Formation of the Alabama coastal waters area and adjacent federal waters area

Marine Georesources and Geotechnology

By:
and
DOI: 10.1080/106411999273909

Links

Abstract

The discovery of deep (>20,000 ft) gas reservoirs in eolian sandstone of the Upper Jurassic Norphlet Formation in Mobile Bay and offshore Alabama in the late 1970s represents one of the most significant hydrocarbon discoveries in the nation during the past several decades. Estimated original proved gas from Norphlet reservoirs in the Alabama coastal waters and adjacent federal waters is 7.462 trillion ft3 (Tcf) (75% recovery factor). Fifteen fields have been established in the offshore Alabama area. Norphlet sediment was deposited in an arid environment in alluvial fans, alluvial plains, and wadis in updip areas. In downdip areas, the Norphlet was deposited in a broad desert plain, with erg development in some areas. Marine transgression, near the end of Norphlet deposition, resulted in reworking of the upper part of the Norphlet Formation. Norphlet reservoir sandstone is arkose and subarkose, consisting of a simple assemblage of three minerals, quartz, albite, and K-feldspar. The present framework grain assemblage of the Norphlet is dominantly diagenetic, owing to albitization and dissolution of feldspar. Despite the simple framework composition, the diagenetic character of the Norphlet is complex. Important authigenic minerals include carbonate phases (calcite, dolomite, Fe-dolomite, and breunnerite), feldspar (albite and K-feldspar), evaporite minerals (anhydrite and halite), clay minerals (illite and chlorite), quartz, and pyrobitumen. The abundance and distribution of these minerals varies significantly between onshore and offshore regions of Norphlet production. The lack of sufficient internal sources of components for authigenic minerals, combined with unusual chemical compositions of chloride (Mg-rich), breunnerite, and some minor authigenic minerals, suggests that Louann-derived fluids influenced Norphlet diagenesis. In offshore Alabama reservoirs, porosity is dominantly modified primary porosity. Preservation of porosity in deep Norphlet reservoirs is due to a combination of factors, including a lack of sources of cement components and lack of pervasive early cement, so that fluid-flow pathways remained open during burial. Below the dominantly quartz-cemented tight zone near the top of the Norphlet, pyrobitumen is a major contributor to reduction in reservoir quality in offshore Alabama. The highest reservoir quality occurs in those wells where the present gas-water contact is below the paleohydrocarbon-water contact. Thiz zone of highest reservoir quality is between the lowermost occurrence of pyrobitumen and the present gas-water contact.The Upper Jurassic Norphlet Formation sediment was deposited in an arid environment in alluvial fans, alluvial plains, and wadis in undip areas. In downdip areas, the Norphlet was deposited in a broad desert plain, with erg development in some areas. Marine transgression, near the end of Norphlet deposition resulted in reworking of the upper part of the formation. he present framework grain assemblage of the Norphlet is dominantly diagenetic, owing to albitization and dissolution of feldspar. Despite the simple framework composition, the diagenetic character of the Norphlet is complex.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Depositional and diagenetic history and petroleum geology of the Jurassic Norphlet Formation of the Alabama coastal waters area and adjacent federal waters area
Series title:
Marine Georesources and Geotechnology
DOI:
10.1080/106411999273909
Volume
17
Issue:
2-3
Year Published:
1999
Language:
English
Publisher:
Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publisher location:
London, United Kingdom
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Marine Georesources and Geotechnology
First page:
215
Last page:
232