Date of Graduation
Master of Science in Geology (MS)
Second Committee Member
Establishing fracture distribution and porosity trends is key to successful well design in a majority of unconventional plays. The Austin Chalk has historically been referred to as an unpredictable producer due to high fracture concentration and lateral variation in stratigraphy, however recent drilling activity targeting the lower Austin Chalk has been very successful. The Upper Cretaceous Austin Chalk (AC) and underlying Eagle Ford (EF) units are considered by many to act as a single hydrocarbon system, with communication between these two units largely through expulsion or dewatering fractures, extensional faults or along the AC/EF unconformity. Total porosity for the Eagle Ford is composed of a primary matrix component and secondary fracture porosity. For the Austin Chalk, the secondary porosity includes both dissolution and fracture components which complicate wireline and seismic interpretation.
The current study interprets 40 square miles of modern 3D seismic data for horizons and faults using amplitude, coherence, curvature and ant tracking seismic attributes. Post stack acoustic impedance (AI) inversion is applied to the time migrated seismic volume with control from two wells; this input data is similar to that available to independent operators active in the area. Wireline acoustic impedance plotted against sonic and neutron-density porosity respectively, reveals strong correlations that allow calibration of seismic AI into primary, secondary and total porosity from which time slices and surface maps are created. Relationships are identified between porosity and geological features of interest, such as faulted and brittle zones, that may prove useful in guiding future well development in the lower Austin Chalk.
Kilcoyne, David, "Mapping Lower Austin Chalk Secondary Porosity Using Modern 3-D Seismic and Well Log Methods in Zavala County, Texas" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 2835.