State of stress in exhumed basins and implications for fluid flow: insights from the Illizi Basin, Algeria

Handle URI:
http://hdl.handle.net/10754/624951
Title:
State of stress in exhumed basins and implications for fluid flow: insights from the Illizi Basin, Algeria
Authors:
English, Joseph M.; Finkbeiner, Thomas; English, Kara L.; Yahia Cherif, Rachida
Abstract:
The petroleum prospectivity of an exhumed basin is largely dependent on the ability of pre-existing traps to retain oil and gas volumes during and after the exhumation event. Although faults may act as lateral seals in petroleum traps, they may start to become hydraulically conductive again and enable fluid flow and hydrocarbon leakage during fault reactivation. We constrain the present day in situ stresses of the exhumed Illizi Basin in Algeria and demonstrate that the primary north–south and NW–SE (vertical strike-slip) fault systems in the study area are close to critical stress (i.e. an incipient state of shear failure). By contrast, the overpressured and unexhumed Berkine Basin and Hassi Messaoud areas to the north do not appear to be characterized by critical stress conditions. We present conceptual models of stress evolution and demonstrate that a sedimentary basin with benign in situ stresses at maximum burial may change to being characterized by critical stress conditions on existing fault systems during exhumation. These models are supportive of the idea that the breaching of a closed, overpressured system during exhumation of the Illizi Basin may have been a driving mechanism for the regional updip flow of high-salinity formation water within the Ordovician reservoirs during Eocene–Miocene time. This work also has implications for petroleum exploration in exhumed basins. Fault-bounded traps with faults oriented at a high angle to the maximum principal horizontal stress direction in strike-slip or normal faulting stress regimes are more likely to have retained hydrocarbons in exhumed basins than fault-bounded traps with faults that are more optimally oriented for shear failure and therefore have a greater propensity to become critically stressed during exhumation.
KAUST Department:
Ali I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC); Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division
Citation:
English JM, Finkbeiner T, English KL, Yahia Cherif R (2017) State of stress in exhumed basins and implications for fluid flow: insights from the Illizi Basin, Algeria. Geological Society, London, Special Publications: SP458.6. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/sp458.6.
Publisher:
Geological Society of London
Journal:
Geological Society, London, Special Publications
Issue Date:
31-May-2017
DOI:
10.1144/sp458.6
Type:
Article
ISSN:
0305-8719; 2041-4927
Sponsors:
We thank Petroceltic, Sonatrach and Enel for sponsoring this study and granting permission for publication. We thank Jonathan Hunter, John Naismith, Ciaran Nolan, Siya Gancheva, Fabrice Toussaint and Tim Wynn for various discussions over the course of this project, and also Richard Plumb and one anonymous reviewer for constructive feedback that helped to improve the quality of this paper.
Additional Links:
http://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/early/2017/05/26/SP458.6
Appears in Collections:
Articles; Physical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Division; Upstream Petroleum Engineering Research Center (UPERC)

Full metadata record

DC FieldValue Language
dc.contributor.authorEnglish, Joseph M.en
dc.contributor.authorFinkbeiner, Thomasen
dc.contributor.authorEnglish, Kara L.en
dc.contributor.authorYahia Cherif, Rachidaen
dc.date.accessioned2017-06-12T13:37:52Z-
dc.date.available2017-06-12T13:37:52Z-
dc.date.issued2017-05-31en
dc.identifier.citationEnglish JM, Finkbeiner T, English KL, Yahia Cherif R (2017) State of stress in exhumed basins and implications for fluid flow: insights from the Illizi Basin, Algeria. Geological Society, London, Special Publications: SP458.6. Available: http://dx.doi.org/10.1144/sp458.6.en
dc.identifier.issn0305-8719en
dc.identifier.issn2041-4927en
dc.identifier.doi10.1144/sp458.6en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10754/624951-
dc.description.abstractThe petroleum prospectivity of an exhumed basin is largely dependent on the ability of pre-existing traps to retain oil and gas volumes during and after the exhumation event. Although faults may act as lateral seals in petroleum traps, they may start to become hydraulically conductive again and enable fluid flow and hydrocarbon leakage during fault reactivation. We constrain the present day in situ stresses of the exhumed Illizi Basin in Algeria and demonstrate that the primary north–south and NW–SE (vertical strike-slip) fault systems in the study area are close to critical stress (i.e. an incipient state of shear failure). By contrast, the overpressured and unexhumed Berkine Basin and Hassi Messaoud areas to the north do not appear to be characterized by critical stress conditions. We present conceptual models of stress evolution and demonstrate that a sedimentary basin with benign in situ stresses at maximum burial may change to being characterized by critical stress conditions on existing fault systems during exhumation. These models are supportive of the idea that the breaching of a closed, overpressured system during exhumation of the Illizi Basin may have been a driving mechanism for the regional updip flow of high-salinity formation water within the Ordovician reservoirs during Eocene–Miocene time. This work also has implications for petroleum exploration in exhumed basins. Fault-bounded traps with faults oriented at a high angle to the maximum principal horizontal stress direction in strike-slip or normal faulting stress regimes are more likely to have retained hydrocarbons in exhumed basins than fault-bounded traps with faults that are more optimally oriented for shear failure and therefore have a greater propensity to become critically stressed during exhumation.en
dc.description.sponsorshipWe thank Petroceltic, Sonatrach and Enel for sponsoring this study and granting permission for publication. We thank Jonathan Hunter, John Naismith, Ciaran Nolan, Siya Gancheva, Fabrice Toussaint and Tim Wynn for various discussions over the course of this project, and also Richard Plumb and one anonymous reviewer for constructive feedback that helped to improve the quality of this paper.en
dc.publisherGeological Society of Londonen
dc.relation.urlhttp://sp.lyellcollection.org/content/early/2017/05/26/SP458.6en
dc.rightsArchived with thanks to Geological Society, London, Special Publicationsen
dc.titleState of stress in exhumed basins and implications for fluid flow: insights from the Illizi Basin, Algeriaen
dc.typeArticleen
dc.contributor.departmentAli I. Al-Naimi Petroleum Engineering Research Center (ANPERC)en
dc.contributor.departmentPhysical Sciences and Engineering (PSE) Divisionen
dc.identifier.journalGeological Society, London, Special Publicationsen
dc.eprint.versionPost-printen
dc.contributor.institutionPetroceltic International, 16 Fitzwilliam Place, Dublin 2, Irelanden
dc.contributor.institutionStellar Geoscience Limited, Dublin, Irelanden
dc.contributor.institutionDirection Coordination Groupe Associations – Sonatrach, Djenane El-Malik, Hydra, Algiers, Algeriaen
kaust.authorFinkbeiner, Thomasen
All Items in KAUST are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.