Mathieu Deville de Periere PhD thesis

devilleSedimentologic and diagenetic origin of microporous carbonated reservoirs: example of the Cenomanian Mishrif formation of the Middle East

Defended on the 30th June  2011

Funding: université de Bourgogne (industrial convention)

Supervisors: Christophe Durlet and Emmanuelle Vennin

Started in November 2007



Microporosity may account for as much as 95% of the total porosity of hydrocarbon and water reservoirs in Cretaceous limestones of the Arabian Gulf. In these microporous facies porosity is moderate to excellent (up to 35%) while permeability is poor to moderate (up to 190mD). Conversely, microporous facies may form dense inter-reservoir or cap rock layers with very low porosity and permeability values (2–8% and 0.01–2mD, respectively). For this study, samples were mainly collected from the Cenomanian Mishrif Formation, but also from the Berriasian-Valanginian Habshan Formation, so as to examine the wide vertical and lateral discrepancies in their petrophysical parameters. Scanning Electron Microscopy was used to investigate two potential controls of reservoir properties: (1) micrite particle morphology (shape and inter-crystal contacts); and (2) micrite crystallometry, defined as the median size of micrite particles measured on SEM photomicrographs. The morphometric data are compared with three petrophysical parameters (porosity, permeability and pore threshold radius distribution). Results reveal that micrite matrixes can be subdivided into three petrophysical classes each with its own distinctive crystallometry, morphology and reservoir properties. Class C (strictly microporous limestones with coarse punctic-to-partially coalescent micrites) is made up of coarse (> 2 µm) polyhedral to rounded micritic crystals, it has good to excellent porosity (8–28%), poor to moderate permeability (0.2–190mD) and a mean pore threshold radius of more than 0.5µm. The class C is usually observed in rudist-rich bioclastic shoal facies where several sedimentary factors (hydrodynamism, bioproduction…) would disfavour deposition of the finer micritic crystals. Diagenetic study shows that the development of coarse micrites (Class C) must also be explained by the early dissolution of fine aragonite and high magnesium calcite particles in oxygenated meteoric fluids leading to a simultaneous in-situ overgrowth on LMC particles at the top of the meteoric phreatic lens. These processes induce an increase of the crystallometry of micritic particles, an early lithification of the carbonate mud, and so the mineralogical stabilization of coarse Class C micrites. Class F (strictly microporous limestones with fine punctic-to-partially coalescent micrites) is composed of fine (< 2 µm) polyhedral to rounded micrites with poor to excellent porosity (3–35 %), but permeability values of less than 10 mD and a mean pore threshold radius of less than 0.5 µm. It is mostly observed in sediments deposited in a low energy muddy inner platform setting. The formation of fine micrites (Class F) is also explained by an early mineralogical stabilization of micritic particles in confined meteoric waters, favoring neomorphism processes, which may proceeds during burial. Later, during burial, reservoir properties of classes C and D strictly microporous samples where locally enhanced by mesogenetic dissolution (probably due to organic acids) affecting the microporous matrix during the oil emplacement. Class D (strictly microporous mud-dominated facies with compact anhedral to fused dense micrites) comprises subhedral to anhedral crystals with sutured to fused contacts forming a dense matrix. It has very low porosity and permeability. Class D is only found in low energy muddy inner platform facies and forms inter-reservoir or caps rock layers usually in association with stylolites and clay contents that exceed 10%. Regardless of how they formed, though, the three classes can be usefully incorporated into future rock-typing of the microporous carbonate reservoirs of the Middle East.


Key words

Micrite, Microporous, Crystallometry, Morphometry, Diagenesis



Emmanuelle Vennin (université de Bourgogne)
Christophe Durlet (université de Bourgogne)
Marc Floquet (université de Provence)
Jean-Pierre Girard (Total)
Bruno Caline (Total)
Jean-François Deconinck (université de Bourgogne)
James Richard (université de Franche-Comté)