Deepwater Gulf of Mexico Study 


Core Laboratories is conducting one of the largest regional geological and petrophysical studies of conventional cores taken from numerous wells in the deepwater blocks of the Gulf of Mexico available to the industry.

This study focus is on determining the depositional facies of slope and deepwater sandstone reservoirs, along with their petrographic and petrophysical properties in the deepwater blocks of the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, detailed paleontological analysis is performed on core and drill cutting samples in order to place the cored intervals into a stratigraphic framework. These types of data and interpretations, integrated into a regional database, significantly enhance operators’ understanding of these deepwater reservoirs for improved exploration and exploitation efforts. All of this data, besides being provided in individual well reports, can be accessed in an Oracle™ database application via the Internet.

The study area encompasses the blocks extending from East Breaks Area to the Desoto Canyon Area. Participants in the project are required to contribute conventional cores from four (4) wells located within these deepwater areas. Conventional cores from existing wells may be contributed, as well as cores that are taken from exploration and exploitation wells that will be drilled in the near future.

Newly-cored wells provide material suitable for the measurement and determination of an extensive array of petrophysical properties. The spectrum of deepwater reservoir rock types and their geological and petrophysical properties have been compiled into a catalog format to serve as reference analogs for more accurate estimates of formation parameters when evaluating non-cored reservoir intervals. Frequent core workshops and a series of technical talks are conducted so that the participants can meet with Core Laboratories’ deepwater team and examine, firsthand, the cores and associated data.

In addition to the geological and petrophysical evaluation of cored reservoir intervals this project also examines the seal characteristics of a spectrum of Deepwater GOM fields. The objective of this component of the study is to enhance evaluation of seal rock quality and aid in the calculation of seal capacity. The resulting database aids operators in their risk assessment of hydrocarbon columnar heights.

Samples have been taken from fifty (50) deepwater fields from cores in the study. Data used to evaluate these deepwater seals are: high pressure mercury injection capillary pressure, thin-section petrography, X-ray diffraction, SEM analysis and Laser Particle Size analysis. These data along with reservoir parameters are used to determine seal capacity of the underlying reservoirs and will provide critical parameters for determining seal capacity of deepwater oil and gas seals in their depositional context.

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