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Carboniferous and older carbonate rocks are potential hydrocarbon reservoir facies for four plays in the 1002 area of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. These rocks include several units in the pre-Carboniferous basement and the Carboniferous Lisburne Group. Data from exploratory wells west of the 1002 area, outcrops south of the 1002 area, seismic lines, and well logs are synthesized herein to infer carbonate lithofacies, extent, and reservoir character beneath the northeastern Arctic coastal plain.
A chiefly shallow-water basement carbonate succession of Late Proterozoic through Early Devonian age (Katakturuk Dolomite, Nanook Limestone, and Mount Copleston Limestone) is interpreted to be present beneath much of the south-central 1002 area; it reaches 3,700 m thick in outcrop and is the primary reservoir for the Deformed Franklinian Play. A more heterogeneous lithologic assemblage of uncertain age forms basement in the northwestern part of the 1002 area; well data define three subunits that contain carbonate intervals 5- 50 m thick. These strata are prospective reservoirs for the Undeformed Franklinian Play and could also be reservoirs for the Niguanak- Aurora Play. Regional lithologic correlations suggest a Cambrian-Late Proterozoic(?) age for subunits one and two, and a slightly younger, later Cambrian-Silurian age for subunit three. Seismic and well data indicate that subunit one overlies subunit two and is overlain by subunit three. The Mississippian and Pennsylvanian Lisburne Group, a predominantly carbonate platform succession as much as 1 km thick, is projected beneath the southernmost part of the 1002 area and is a potential reservoir for the Ellesmerian Thrust-belt and Niguanak-Aurora Plays.
Carbonate rocks in the 1002 area probably retain little primary porosity but may have locally well developed secondary porosity. Measured reservoir parameters in basement carbonate strata are low (porosity generally ≤ 5%; permeability ≤ 0.2 md) but drill-stem tests found locally reasonable flow rates (4,220-4,800 bpd) and, in the Flaxman Island area, recovered gas and condensate from these rocks. The Lisburne Group has produced up to 50,000 bbl of oil/ day from the Lisburne field at Prudhoe Bay. Reservoir parameters of the Lisburne in northeastern Alaska range from low (porosities ≤ 5% in most limestones) to good (porosities average 6.5-10% in some dolostones). Reservoir quality in Carboniferous and older carbonate strata in the 1002 area should be greatest where these rocks are highly fractured and (or) truncated by the Lower Cretaceous Unconformity.
Additional publication details
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Title||Carboniferous and older carbonate rocks: Lithofacies, extent, and reservoir quality: Chapter CC in The oil and gas resource potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 area, Alaska|
|Series title||Open-File Report|
|Publisher||U.S. Geological Survey|
|Contributing office(s)||Alaska Science Center|
|Larger Work Type||Report|
|Larger Work Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Larger Work Title||The oil and gas resource potential of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 Area, Alaska (Open File Report 98-34)|
|Public Comments||Originally published in a 2-CD-ROM set; the file is now available online.|
|Other Geospatial||ANWR, Arctic National Wildlife Refuge 1002 Area|
|Google Analytic Metrics||Metrics page|