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Petroleum Geology and the Permian Basin

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1 Petroleum Geology and the Permian Basin
Andrew McCarthy Concho Resources

2 Petroleum System Source: organic-rich mudrock Heat (burial) and time
Reservoir: porous rock Seal: low-permeability rock Trap

3 Source 3,850,000 EJ burial Sol (our sun) Fusion (of hydrogen
and helium) burial 3,000 EJ Earth 3,850,000 exajoules per year – Solar radiation 3,000 exajoules per year – captured by plant life 500 exajoules per year – total human use (fossil, nuclear, etc.)

4 + Source Shale: high organic material Gas (methane, ethane, propane)
H2S CO2 N2 + Kerogen Heat and pressure Kerogen: geo-plastic or geo-chocolate. Lipids, proteins, carbohydrates Texas tea (light, sweet crude)

5 How much heat? Low temps yield nothing: <60 C
High temps yield oil: 60C-120+C Higher temps yield gas: 120+C

6 100% natural and organic Oil is 100% natural and organic
Yummy! Oil is 100% natural and organic 95%++ of all oil ever generated has been naturally leaked to the surface Millions of natural oil seeps exist around the planet, many under the oceans Natural Oil seeps (BP not Involved) Not Iced tea

7 An oil reservoir at the surface
Oil reservoirs are exposed and eroded away. The light oil is biodegraded, tar remains.

8 OK. So far we have: Source Heat and time
Now we need a reservoir, a seal, and maybe a trap

9 Reservoir The first key to a reservoir rock is porosity intergranular

10 Got porosity?

11 Reservoir The second key to a reservoir rock is permeability

12 Seal We need something to slow the upward migration of oil and gas.
A seal will do: it’s a layer of very low permeability. Microscopic view of clay layers Imagine if this were clay…

13 Traps Required for conventional reservoirs…

14 A very conventional petroleum system:
Concho oil sealing shale sand organic shale

15 Today: Unconventional plays
Tight carbonate (seal/frac barrier) Organic mudstone, silty shale, with varying carbonate and silica content 1 source 2 reservoir 3 seal Tight carbonate (seal/frac barrier)

16 “Shale” plays What is shale? Silt vs. clay
Mudrocks (silt, clay, organics, carbonate) Needs help: must be fracture-stimulated (poor natural permeability) Shale rocks can serve as Source Reservoir Seal

17 The Permian Basin

18 Geologic Time

19 Today Active petroleum systems

20 Basins basin Low areas; tend to fill with sediment
Typically covered with water (ocean, sea or lake) Nature’s landfill Rivers Coral reefs Wind blown Pelagic rain basin deep basin slope shelf

21 Before the Permian Basin
Shales: Devonian Mississippian Barnett Before 370 Ma (Devonian) Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, Inc.

22 Early Permian Basin 315 Ma Late Miss/Early Penn time Shale deposition
Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, Inc.

23 Late Permian 255 Ma Carbonates (shallow marine carb factory)
Later, evaporites Ron Blakey, Colorado Plateau Geosystems, Inc.

24 Sources Organic-rich shales

25 Reservoirs *Just about everything! carbonates sands Shale/silt

26 What does a geologist do?
Exploration very little data! Seismic, basin geochem, remote sensing Everything changes with the first well Development increasing amounts of data! Well logs, core, production data Operations Day-to-day drilling When do we have “the answer”?

27 Thank you.

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