Typical meter-scale lithofacies cycles from the Wolfcamp A in the Delaware and Midland Basins comprise basal carbonate facies overlain by calcareous or siliceous mudrocks. Siliceous mudstones are the most organic-rich facies with high total organic carbon (TOC > 3 wt. %), whereas thin carbonate beds have the lowest organic matter (OM) content among the lithofacies present (TOC TOC, programmed pyrolysis analysis, and residual gas analysis from rock crushing.
Oil saturation index (OSI) (the amount of free oil normalized by TOC; OSI = S1 × 100/TOC) is used as an indicator of oil enrichment or depletion in the reservoir, where S1 is volatile oil in programmed pyrolysis (temperature = 300°C). Both TOC-lean carbonate and TOC-rich mudstone lithofacies have high OSI in these meter-scale cycles (average OSI is 124.5 mg HC/g TOC for carbonate beds), indicating that migrated oil is present. Residual gas analyses show lower dryness values (C1/C1–5) and higher oil indicator values (100 × C4+5/C1–5) in TOC-lean carbonate beds compared to the TOC-rich mudstones, likely indicating a cumulative oil and gas charging effect through source rock maturation. Oil and gas generated at different stages of thermal maturation were partially expelled from OM-rich siliceous/calcareous mudstones into adjacent OM-lean carbonate beds. This study shows oil expulsion from source to adjacent carbonate beds is a key factor in variations of oil saturation in the Wolfcamp A.
|Title||Meter-scale lithofacies cycle and controls on variations in oil saturation, Wolfcamp A, Delaware and Midland Basins|
|Authors||Tongwei Zhang, Qilong Fu, Xun Sun, Paul C. Hackley, Lucy Tingwei Ko, Deyong Shao|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||AAPG Bulletin|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Eastern Energy Resources Science Center|