Sunteți pe pagina 1din 30

MBDCI

UCSS - Unconsolidated Sandstones


5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

Maurice Dusseault
MBDCI

Unconsolidated Sandstones - UCSS


 The major factor is lack of cementation
 Some distinguishing characteristics:
-These all depend on depth of burial
-High porosity (>30%@1000m, >25%@3000m )
-Little to no CaCO3 or other mineral cements
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

-Usually the cleaner sands are more cement-free


-Usually of lower velocity than surrounding strata
-Lack of large tectonic compressive loading
-Quartzose sands are more likely to be UCSS
 But, UCSS can be stiff, soft, quartzose or not,
young or old, etc
MBDCI

Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Geology has a vital role in helping engineers


understand the behavior of uncemented and
lightly cemented sandstone
 Sedimentary environment affects fabric, clay
content, mineralogy, sorting
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Diagenesis increases strength, stiffness,


cohesion, and in some cases can lead to
formation of neogenic (new) clays
 Geological history of burial & erosion affects
present-day stress fields, stiffness, etc
MBDCI

5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones Will this Become a UCSS?


MBDCI

5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones A Consolidated Sandstone (Sydney)

This is the famous Hawkesbury Sandstone in the Sydney Basin,


Australia (sorry, no oil!). In areas it is SiO2 cemented, making
good building stone, in many areas it is unconsolidated.
MBDCI

Why are UCSS of Interest?


 Huge fresh water aquifers in US, Libya, etc.
 Most new discoveries offshore around the
world are found in UCSS at depth
 Perhaps ~6 Tb of viscous oil is found in UCSS
 Canadian Oil Sands - > 350 109m3
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Venezuela Faja del Orinoco - > 250 109m3

 Russia + China + Middle East...


 200 109m3 HO in UCSS
 Rest of World, perhaps another 200 109m3
 So about 6 Tb
MBDCI

5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

50 m of Cretaceous Athabasca Oilsands underlain by


Devonian age carbonates, North of Fort McMurray, Alta
MBDCI

Technical Challenges in UCSS

 Sand production problems are extremely


common during fluid production
 Non-linear behavior (shearing) makes good
hydraulic fracture predictions challenging
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Stiffness is a function of confining stress ()


 Thermal processes (T) cause extensive
shearing and dilation (properties change)
 Extremely difficult to get undisturbed samples
in some cases (heavy oil, deep strata)
MBDCI

Sampling Difficulties in UCSS


 The lack of cohesion means that UCSS are
difficult to sample without disturbance
 A very small amount of disturbance is enough
to give a spurious compressibility
 For example, using damaged cores, for years
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

Venezuelan oil company persons assumed


good compaction drive in the Faja del Orinoco
 From lab on bad core: 20-100 10-6 kPa-1
 From analogues, other sources: 1-5 10-6 kPa-1

 Clearly, damage can lead to bad decisions


Heavy Oil MBDCI

Cores, MR
Scans
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

Courtesy of Glen
Brook, Nexen and
Apostolos
Kantzas, U of
Calgary
MBDCI

decreasing density
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

CT-Scan Evidence of Damage in Heavy Oil Cores


Courtesy of Glen Brook, Nexen and Apostolos Kantzas, U of Calgary
MBDCI

Recommendations for UCSS


 Sample very carefully, preserve core carefully
 Use log-derived porosity based on the - log
(density) to calculate porosity, compare to the
core-derived porosity for quality control
 If too much damage
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Testan analogue that is easier to sample


 Examine coring methods carefully

 Use data banks and correlations for properties

 Use UCSS core for other purposes (fluids, etc.)

 Damage, in general, increases Cc, , and k


MBDCI

Effect of Diagenesis

stresses

time pressure
temperature solution,
25-32%
+
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

chemistry

initially, 35% porosity cementation,


for a typical sand 25-32%
porosity reduction
MBDCI

The Effect of Diagenesis


 Pressure solution at grain contacts is a major
reason for porosity loss and E increase, but
 If this does not involve cementation, no true
tensile strength develops friable or UCSS
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

Ap pore throat reduced Ap Increased


fi
fi + f contact
area

E,
-p = +
small
porosity
reduction

f + f
fk fk+ f
MBDCI

Effect of Diagenetic Densification

porosity apparent threshold

diagenetic
porosity loss
@ constant virgin
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

compression
present state curve
stiff
response

log(v)
For UCSS, the stress history and diagenetic fabric are
extremely important indicators of probable behavior
MBDCI

Diagenesis and Strength

shear stress diagenesis


effects on the
chemical cementation M-C envelope

densification
(more interlock)
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

original
sediment
cohesion diagenetic
strength
increase

normal
stress
3 1
MBDCI

UCSS Guidelines
 Quartz arenite UCSS: lower Cc, higher shear
strength, more dilation than arkoses or
greywackes (feldspars and lithic particles)
 UCSS is stronger and stiffer if
 Subjected to burial, then erosion (100s of m)
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Subjected to intense diagenesis (grain fabric)

 Subjected to compression (close to mountains)

 The true tensile strength may be zero, but


during testing there is still an apparent
cohesion because of curve fitting
MBDCI

True Cohesion or Not?


curvature
shear stress effects on the
M-C envelope

Y from a linear fit


Y - curvilinear fit
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

apparent
cohesion

normal
stress
3 1

The cohesion intercept is affected by how we draw our MC


Y-line. An apparent cohesion can be seen here.
MBDCI

5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones Quartz Sandstone Fabric

Overgrowths
on a Q grain
Examples of quartzose
unconsolidated sandstones
MBDCI

UCSS - Extreme Diagenesis Case

Interpenetrating fabric

SiO2 grains
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

Crystal overgrowths

Highly soluble grain

An intense diagenetic fabric, but no true cement!


MBDCI

Diagenesis and UCSS Properties


 Cohesion (c) may be increased
 Tensile strength (To) low to zero
 Friction angle () increased considerably
 Stiffness (E) is increased greatly
Poissons ratio probably unaffected
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 Weak anisotropy may be generated in


sandstones if there is tectonic stress as well
 Permeability drops (pore throat dia., fractures)
 Thermal properties are altered only slightly
MBDCI

Stability of Perforation Tunnels


Courtesy, IKU-Sintef, Norway

 In a UCSS, there is little


cement to resist disaggre-
gation & sand production
 In fact, as the tunnel is
depressurized, shearing
takes place around wall
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 And this destroys any


small amount of cohesion
 Which leads to sand
entering the borehole
under high flow gradients
MBDCI

Correlations for UCSS Sanding


Bulk Density, b (g/cm3) x 1000
 Developed for GoM 160
1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8 3.0
525

6
2

10
1. 1.
4
l=

x
l=

0
1.
Predicts sanding or
500

Compressional Transit Time, tc (sec/ft)


l=

150
on
cti

Compressional Transit Time, tc (sec/ft)


u
rod 475
P
no sanding 140

Sa
nd 450

130 425

 Uncertainty range is 120


400

very large 3.0 375


5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

l=
110
3.5
l= 350

 Most data fall in the 100

ree
Pro
du ctio
n
l=4
.0
325

and-F
blue area 90
Usu
ally
S l=5
.0 300

275
l = 6.0
80

 A very rough indicator 70


250

225

of strength only 1.6 1.8 2.0 2.2 2.4 2.6 2.8


200
3.0
Bulk Density, b (g/cm3)
 There are other factors I is the combined modulus of strength.
I=K+
4
m = 1.34 x 1010
b

3 tc2
MBDCI

E.g. - West Cameron 587 (UNOCAL)

In the zones of interest,


DING data plotted mainly in the
SAN
EL Y centre zone (risk difficult
L IK
to assess), but also some
plotted above and some
plotted below the zone.
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

In all correlation methods,


K E LY
U NLI there are uncertainties. In
G
N DIN
S A fact, in all petroleum rock
mechanics analysis,
uncertainty is an issue.

Quantitative risk calcs. are


difficult!
MBDCI

E.g. West White Lake (UNOCAL)

Here, the data all plotted below


the sensitive (uncertain) range.
One would assume that the
sand production risk is low.

What will you do? Install


5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

expensive control systems?

A viable option in these poorly


consolidated sandstone cases
Poorly is to assume no sand, but be
consolidated prepared to live with a little bit
sandstone if sand influx, and handle it
rationally.
MBDCI

Poorly Consolidated Sandstones

You can brush sand off the face of this


outcrop with a stiff paintbrush: i.e.: friable
or unconsolidated or poorly consolidated
sandstone. There is no rigid definition, but
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

I would suggest that an unconsolidated


sandstone is one that truly has no grain-
to-grain cement and can be easily
disaggregated when in a saturated state.
MBDCI

Faja del Orinoco, Venezuela

 A classic unconsolidated sandstone reservoir


 60-80 MYBP, >85% quartz, 26-32% porosity
 Mainly estuarine blanket and channel
 In a sand-silt-shale (arenaceous) sequence
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

 No CaCO3 or SiO2 cement between grains


 Quartz arenites common, diagenesis
 No lateral tectonic compression or structure
 Maximum burial depth (below today) +1000 m
 Stiff, relatively strong, will not compact
MBDCI

Location of the Faja del Orinoco


 Group of coalescing deltas
 Quartz arenite reservoirs generally (more
arkosic to the west)
 >1.4 Tb of viscous oil (10% of worlds oil)
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

zu e la
e ne
V
MBDCI

Channels Lateral Variability


OESTE ESTE
5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones
MBDCI

In a Thick Channel Oil Saturated!


 One of the Worlds wonders
11 km

Over 150 m of net pay in places, +


5-C: Unconsolidated Sandstones

high porosity, permeability and


saturation, viscosity 1000-4000 cP