COMPUTATION OF POROSITY REDISTRIBUTION RESULTING FROM THERMAL-CONVECTION IN SLANTED POROUS LAYERS

Abstract : Unlike fluid displacement due to regional hydraulic head, thermoconvective motions are generally slow. The thermal impacts of such movements are very weak, whereas their chemical impacts may be significant because of their cumulated effects over geologic time. For nonhorizontal thick sedimentary reservoirs, the fluid velocity due to thermal convection can be accurately approximated by an explicit function of the dip of the reservoir, the permeability and the difference in thermal conductivity between the aquifer and the confining beds. The latter parameter controls the rotation direction of the flow and, for clastic reservoirs bounded by impervious clayey media, fluid moves up the slope along the caprock layer. As the fluid velocity is small, the major rock-forming minerals control the fluid composition by thermodynamic equilibrium. Thus, whereas the volume of redistributed minerals depends on the volume of water circulated, the localization of porosity enhancement is strongly controlled by the reservoir mineralogy. With realistic values of permeability and layer thickness, several per cent of secondary porosity per million years can be created or lost at shallow depth (< 2 km), depending on the chlorinity, the set of representative minerals and the temperature. In sandstone reservoirs and high-chlorinity calcarenite reservoirs, the porosity decreases under the caprock where hydrocarbons can accumulate. In chloride-depleted carbonate aquifers, the simultaneous control by carbonates, silica and aluminosilicates can produce a decrease of porosity above the bedrock and an enhancement of porosity under the caprock. However, computations show that the quality of the upper part of the reservoir is mainly reduced by the precipitation of silica and clays.
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Philippe Gouze, Anne Coudrain, Dominique Bernard. COMPUTATION OF POROSITY REDISTRIBUTION RESULTING FROM THERMAL-CONVECTION IN SLANTED POROUS LAYERS. Journal of Geophysical Research : Solid Earth, American Geophysical Union, 1994, ⟨10.1029/93JB02450 ⟩. ⟨ird-01230580⟩

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