Lower Smackover Brown Dense Study

One of the most prolific source rocks in the Gulf Coast Basin area is the Lower Smackover “Brown Dense” section. It is the source rock for the overlying Upper Smackover carbonate-shoal conventional reservoirs. This organically-laminated, carbonate mudstone section rims the Gulf Coast Basin from Florida to East Texas. It may contain liquid hydrocarbons that might be economically produced with horizontal drilling and fracture stimulation. Several companies are currently evaluating the potential of the Lower Smackover looking to become a first mover in the play.

The Integrated Reservoir Solutions Division of Core Laboratories is proposing to interested companies participation in a reconnaissance project involving the screening of reservoir properties from legacy cores. This project consists of the reservoir characterization of several cores that Core Lab has obtained from the public domain. The area of interest is the Arkansas-Louisiana State Line Trend.

The primary objective of this project is to provide operators with geological, petrographic, geochemical, and pore space properties of the Lower Smackover section by the analysis of conventional cores. Specifically, the analytical program will consist of the following:

  • Each core will be described and sedimentologically analyzed to determine lithology, grain size, physical and biogenic sedimentary structures, contacts, and the vertical sequence in order to identify depositional facies and environments of deposition. Fracture analysis will also be conducted to determine the type, frequency and distribution of visible fractures.
  • Selected core slabs will be digitally photographed in color to provide a permanent record of facies and other features such as natural fractures.
  • Selected samples will be measured for porosity, permeability and grain density.
  • Samples from the cores will be taken for detailed petrographic analysis and rock type characterization. Epi-fluorescence thin section petrography utilizing rhodomine-dyed epoxy and “ultra-thin” thin sections will aid in the characterization of depositional texture, allochems, cements and pore structure, along with the analysis of micro-fractures. Fractures will also be analyzed to determine fracture-fill cement stratigraphy.
  • Selected samples from the core will be taken for SEM evaluation of micro-fabric and pore types. A new high resolution FEG (Field Emission Gun) SEM will be utilized to analyze the samples in conjunction with Back-Scatter Electron (BSE) mode and Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectrum analysis (EDS).
  • Bulk and clay mineralogy will be determined by X-ray diffraction techniques.
  • Total organic content (TOC), Rock Eval pyrolysis, and vitrinite reflectance will be measured on the core samples.