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Subsurface Fluids (mostly water)

Pore Space
Sedimentary rocks have 0 - 40% open space (porosity) Typically 5 - 20% Filled with: Mostly water Rarely oil, natural gas, CO2, etc

Types of Water

SEM images of porosity

Free Water Irreducible Water Bound to grains by surface tension In clays

Quartz Sandstone

Kaolinite (clay)

Clay Structure

Sources of Water
Juvenile Water Meteoric (surface water) Connate Water (deep basin water)

Juvenile Water
From magmatic or metamorphic sources Not common in petroleum systems Important for metallic mineral deposits Distinguished by O isotopes (enriched in 18O relative to seawater)

Meteoric Water
Surface water Relatively Fresh (low salinity, 3.5% or less) Oxidizing Acidic (organic acids) High bicarbonate (HCO3 -) Low Ca, Mg

Water Chemistry Connate Water

Basin water trapped during sedimentation Starts as seawater Saline Reducing (low Oxygen) Alkaline High Na+, K+, Cl-

Selley, 1998

Chemical Composition of Waters Salinity

Total dissolved solids (TDS) in ppm or mg/liter Seawater is 3.5% or 35,000 ppm salinity Oilfield brine up to 64 % salt (640,000 ppm) Usually less than 350,000 ppm

Hunt, 1995

Salinity vs. depth

0 Salinity (ppm) Meteoric water circulation Depth (km) 1 Rapid increase with depth 2 3 4 Salinity of Pennsylvanian Cherokee sandstones, Oklahoma

Reducing environment, Salinity uniform with depth Dickey, 1979

Salinity vs Depth

Hydraulic System Rocky Mountain Basin

Tensleep Fm. Cretaceous


Colorado Dickey, 1979

Applications of Water Chemistry

Clues to petroleum system Evolution of porosity (cementation/dissolution) Calibration of electrical resistivity logs Calculations of petroleum saturation

Environmental Issues
Contamination of Ground water Contamination of Surface water Disposal of produced water Injection wells Recycling Treatment (desalination) Frac Water withdrawals

Take Home Ideas

Pore space is mostly saturated with water Irreducible water is attached to the grains Meteoric water can enhance porosity in carbonates Meteoric water indicates reservoir is connected to the surface Connate water means reservoir is closed (isolated) Water salinity controls its electrical conductivity (important in log analysis) Responsible disposal of produced waters is a important