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Diagenesis and fracture development in the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin; implications for reservoir quality in the middle member

Professional Paper 1653

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Abstract

The middle member of the Bakken Formation is an attractive petroleum exploration target in the deeper part of the Williston Basin because it is favorably positioned with respect to source and seal units. Progressive rates of burial and minor uplift and erosion of this member led to a stable thermal regime and, consequently, minor variations in diagenesis across much of the basin. The simple diagenetic history recorded in sandstones and siltstones in the middle member can, in part, be attributed to the closed, low-permeability nature of the Bakken petroleum system during most of its burial history. Most diagenesis ceased in the middle member when oil entered the sandstones and siltstones in the Late Cretaceous. Most oil in the Bakken Formation resides in open, horizontal fractures in the middle member. Core analysis reveals that sandstones and siltstones associated with thick mature shales typically have a greater density of fractures than sandstones and siltstones associated with thin mature shales. Fractures were caused by superlithostatic pressures that formed in response to increased fluid volumes in the source rocks during hydrocarbon generation

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Diagenesis and fracture development in the Bakken Formation, Williston Basin; implications for reservoir quality in the middle member
Series title:
Professional Paper
Series number:
1653
Edition:
-
Year Published:
2001
Language:
ENGLISH
Description:
19 p.