The impact of fossils on diagenetically controlled reservoir quality: the Zechstein Brońsko Reef (Upper Permian, W Poland)

Adam Fheed


Although the sedimentation and diagenesis of the Polish Zechstein Limestone strata (Ca1, Permian) already have been investigated, relatively little has been done to resolve their petrophysical potential. Therefore, the gap between sedimentological and petrophysical studies was bridged through an integrated analysis of geological and geophysical data. The results of core description, polarized-light microscopy, well log interpretations and laboratory measurements on core samples were combined with previously published nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) and X-ray microtomography (μCT) data, especially helpful in the recognition of pore geometry. The Ca1 strata of the Brońsko-1 and Brońsko-2 wells, located on the Zechstein Brońsko Reef (West Poland), were studied to determine the influence of fossils on porosity and permeability. It was concluded that greater diversification of the original biota led to an increase in porosity and variation in pore geometry. While encrusting organisms such as foraminifers promoted the development of channel and fracture porosity, the dissolution of the primarily aragonitic bivalve and gastropod shells and the shells of terebratulid brachiopods often gave rise to the formation of cavernous and mouldic porosity. The channels appear to be most common in the bryozoanforaminifer biofacies, representing a shallowing of the depositional environment. Caverns, in turn, corresponded to the organisms of the brachiopod-bryozoan and the lightly karstified bivalve-gastropod biofacies, both of which probably experienced the influence of sabkha conditions, leading to a general decrease in porosity. The bryozoan zoecia tended to enhance both primary intraparticle voids, and after their dissolution, secondary intraparticle pores, which showed limited connectivity in the high-energy Acanthocladia biofacies, where considerable fragmentation of fossils took place, hence decreasing the permeability. Anhydrite cementation was found to be the most pronounced factor controlling porosity destruction, while dolomitization enhanced it significantly, especially for the stromatolitic biofacies, where small, unconnected vugs were formed owing to this process. The permeability is typically below 100 mD, and this is caused by the rich diagenetic history of the reef, that recorded marine, sabkha-related and burial cementation, now represented by the different fabrics of anhydrite, calcite, and dolomite.

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