Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Sandstone Formation Study May Help Petroleum Industry

Date:
April 8, 2002
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
Virginia Tech geological-sciences Ph.D. candidate Jason Reed is trying to determine what controls sandstone formation and how its resulting reservoir quality can aid oil and gas companies search for potential targets for exploitation.

BLACKSBURG, Va. April 3, 2002 -- Virginia Tech geological-sciences Ph.D. candidate Jason Reed is trying to determine what controls sandstone formation and how its resulting reservoir quality can aid oil and gas companies search for potential targets for exploitation.

Sandstone formation begins with sediment that turns to rock during diagenesis. Diagenesis defines the chemical and physical changes the sediment undergoes during burial, including cementation ("sediment glue") and compaction. "We want to understand what controls sandstone diagenesis," Reed said, "how it turns into sandstone."

Reed, along with professors Kenneth Eriksson and Michal Kowalewski, is evaluating three potential controls on sandstone diagenesis, including initial grain composition, past climate, and the environment of sediment deposition. They sampled Pennsylvanian (time period approximately 300 million years ago) sandstones from the Appalachian basin with known framework grain compositions, climatic histories, and depositional environments to compare and contrast diagenesis from the controlled sample set.

"Sandstone is made predominantly of quartz grains," Reed said. "We are looking at how quartz and an additional grain type—the lithic grain or rock fragment—influence how the sediment eventually turned to sandstone." They also are looking at how the climate, whether humid or arid, affects diagenesis. Finally, they are studying how depositional environments such as marine or stream settings compare in their influence on diagenesis.

After collecting and quantifying data from 70 rock samples under the microscope, Reed analyzed the results using statistical techniques. He and his colleagues found that upper Pennsylvanian samples are predominantly lithic arenites and lower Pennsylvanian samples are mostly quartz rich. Quartz was the most significant burial cement in terms of volume.

Considering the effects of climate, various cements, and environment, they found that quartz cement, most abundant in the lower Pennsylvanian quartz-rich sandstones, had less compaction-related loss of void space that could harbor fluids than the more lithic, upper-Pennsylvanian sandstone. "In view of the volume of quartz cement, the most likely source of silica-rich fluids is deeply buried brines mobilized by thrust loading associated with the building of the Appalachian mountains 250 million years ago," Reed said.

The reason for the work is that sandstone is one of the most important reservoir rocks exploited, Reed said. "It holds fluids—hydrocarbons such as oil and gas or water," he said. "If we can understand what happened during sandstone diagenesis, we can understand how the reservoir is built. If we can understand this, can we say something about the water or petroleum systems? Can we exploit this for gas or oil or water?"

For example, sediment with space between it is an excellent place for finding oil or gas and is a good reservoir, he said. If the space between the sediment is filled with cement during diagenesis, then the sandstone has no place to store oil or gas.

Reed’s work will help scientists understand how climate, environment, and grain control sandstone diagenesis in order to determine whether a particular sandstone could be a possible source of petroleum, natural gas, or water.

Reed, from Parkersburg, W.Va., will present his findings in "Aspects of Pennsylvanian Sandstone Diagenesis, Central Appalachian Basin: Qualitative and Quantitative Analysis" at 1:40 p.m. April 3 during the meetings of the North-Central and Southeastern Sections of the Geological Society of America in Lexington, Ky. The meeting will be at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Sandstone Formation Study May Help Petroleum Industry." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 April 2002. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020403024714.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2002, April 8). Sandstone Formation Study May Help Petroleum Industry. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020403024714.htm
Virginia Tech. "Sandstone Formation Study May Help Petroleum Industry." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/04/020403024714.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

Government Approves East Coast Oil Exploration

AP (July 18, 2014) The Obama administration approved the use of sonic cannons to discover deposits under the ocean floor by shooting sound waves 100 times louder than a jet engine through waters shared by endangered whales and turtles. (July 18) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Sunken German U-Boat Clearly Visible For First Time

Newsy (July 18, 2014) The wreckage of the German submarine U-166 has become clearly visible for the first time since it was discovered in 2001. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Obama: U.S. Must Have "smartest Airports, Best Power Grid"

Reuters - US Online Video (July 17, 2014) President Barak Obama stopped by at a lunch counter in Delaware before making remarks about boosting the nation's infrastructure. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

Crude Oil Prices Bounce Back After Falling Below $100 a Barrel

TheStreet (July 16, 2014) Oil Futures are bouncing back after tumbling below $100 a barrel for the first time since May yesterday. Jeff Grossman is the president of BRG Brokerage and trades at the NYMEX. Grossman tells TheStreet the Middle East is always a concern for oil traders. Oil prices were pushed down in recent weeks on Libya increasing its production. Supply disruptions in Iraq fading also contributed to prices falling. News from China's economic front showing a growth for the second quarter also calmed fears on its slowdown. Jeff Grossman talks to TheStreet's Susannah Lee on this and more on the Energy Department's Energy Information Administration (EIA) report. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins