J. Cochard1*, P. Léonide1, J. Borgomano1,4, Y. Guglielmi1,2, G. Massonnat3, J-P. Rolando3, L. Marie1 and A. Pasquier1

1 Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, IRD, CEREGE UM 34, 3 Place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille, France.

2 Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Earth and Environmental Science Area, 1 Cyclotron Road, M/S 74R316C, Berkeley, CA 94720.

3 Total S.A., Centre Scientifique et Technique Jean Féger (CSTJF), 64000 Pau, France.

4 Carbonate Chair, TOTAL-AMIDEX.

* Author for correspondence, email:

Key words: Reservoir properties, carbonates, microporosity, diagenesis, reservoir rock types, Lower Cretaceous, fracturing, Urgonian, SE France.

Integrated sedimentological, diagenetic and structural analyses have been carried out on microporous and tight Urgonian (Barremian – Aptian) limestones in a study area in SE France in order to understand the influence of diagenetic changes and structural deformation on the spatial distribution of reservoir properties. A diagenetic history for the carbonates was established and was divided into phases which correspond to episodes of regional geodynamic activity. Petrographic (optical, SEM and cathodoluminescence microscopy), structural and geochemical (δ18O, δ13C) studies were carried out to characterize the cement phases in the carbonates, especially micrite and blocky calcite, and to investigate their relationship with episodes of fracturing.

Eleven calcite cement phases and four micritic cement phases were identified in relation to the two main phases of structural deformation which affected the Urgonian limestones. A first phase of micrite cementation occurred early in the diagenetic history and was linked to early marine cementation at the tops and bases of depositional cycles during the Barremian. A major phase of micrite recrystallization, which generated microporosity in carbonates that had previously been preserved from early cementation, was followed by a first phase of blocky calcite which occluded intergranular pore spaces. The blocky cement formed in a shallow burial meteoric environment and contributed to the preservation of microporosity during late Durancian tectonism (Albian – Cenomanian). A second phase of blocky calcite is associated with fracture activation during latest Eocene (Priabonian) – Oligo-Miocene extension.

Reservoir rock-types (RRTs) proposed in a previous study were consistent with the diagenetic characteristics and the results of δ13C / δ18O analyses. Microporous RRTs formed as a result of early to late shallow burial processes and display low δ13C values; whereas cemented RRTs developed both due to early marine cementation (with high δ13C values) and/or as a result of cementation related to fluid flow linked to the reactivation of faults and fractures. This suggests that some late diagenetic and microstructural processes were pre-determined by early diagenetic changes in the carbonates. The resulting stratigraphic architecture consists of a vertical stacking of weakly fractured microporous limestone intervals alternating with highly fractured, cemented limestone units.

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