Morphometry of micrite particles in cretaceous microporous limestones of the Middle East: Influence on reservoir properties

Microporosity may account for a significant part of the total porosity of Cretaceous limestone reservoirs of the Middle East. In these microporous facies porosity is moderate to excellent (up to 35%) while permeability is poor to moderate (up to 190 mD). Micritic limestones also may form dense layers with very low porosity and permeability values.

Micritic samples were collected from three fields of the Habshan and Mishrif Formations, to examine the spatial relationship with their porosity, permeability and pore throat radius distributions. Two key parameters of the micritic particles are studied using scanning electron microscopy: their morphology (shape and inter-crystal contacts), and their crystallometry.

Results reveal that micrite matrixes can be subdivided into three petrophysical classes. 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 (0.2–190 mD) and a mean pore threshold radius of more than 0.5 μm. The class C is usually observed in rudist shoal facies where relatively high hydrodynamic energy disfavoured deposition of the finer micritic crystals. It also developed within meteoric leaching intervals below exposure surfaces. 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. Class D (strictly microporous mud-dominated facies with compact anhedral to fused dense micrites) comprises subhedral to anhedral crystals with sutured 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 in close association with stylolites and clay contents that usually exceed 10%.

Deville de Periere, M, Durlet, C, Vennin, E, Lambert, L, Bourillot, R, Caline, B and Poli, E. (2011) Morphometry of micrite particles in cretaceous microporous limestones of the Middle East: Influence on reservoir properties. Marine and Petroleum Geology 28:9 p1727-1750 

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Morphometry of micrite particles in cretaceous microporous limestones of the Middle East: Influence on reservoir properties

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