Facies analysis, depositional environment interpretation and lithostratigraphic architecture to predict reservoir potential of the Devonian Ravendale Interval in the Bancannia Trough, western Darling Basin, SE Australia

Abstract

This paper discusses the facies sequence character for sandstone rocks of the subsurface upper Middle Devonian and Upper Devonian Ravendale Interval in the Bancannia Trough, western Darling Basin. The integration of multiple correlation techniques (recognition of changes in core and cutting facies, electrofacies and lithostratigraphic-facies associations) has helped define an internal stratigraphic correlation framework for the Ravendale Interval. This provides a powerful tool for understanding the distribution of the lithostratigraphic architectural controls on reservoir potential. This study has re-evaluated the stratigraphic boundaries of the Ravendale Interval (bottom and top) using marked changes in gamma-ray and sonic log characteristics, and depth estimates of the boundaries were derived from the wireline log data in the Bancannia South-1, Bancannia North-1 and Jupiter-1 wells. The internal stratigraphy of the Ravendale Interval consists of 20 facies and 19 subfacies that define 4 facies associations (FA). These facies associations are characterised as facies association-A (FAA), a braided channel-fill system; facies association-B (FAB), a meandering channel-fill system; facies association-C (FAC), a multistory fluvial channel-fill complex system, and facies association-D (FAD), a meandering channel delta system. The Ravendale Interval has been subdivided into five wireline log lithostratigraphic units (RI1, RI2, RI3, RI4 and RI5, in ascending order) in the three available wells. Use of the suggested wireline log lithostratigraphic unit correlations versus facies association of the Ravendale Interval has the potential to refine existing stratigraphic sequence schemes and, given the higher resolution and more detailed correlation, may significantly improve subsurface sedimentological framework relationships in lithostratigraphic unit reconstructions. Wireline log correlations indicate that potentially productive sand-rich units of the major Ravendale Interval in the Bancannia Trough can be correlated over large distances, suggesting significant continuity into lightly drilled and undrilled areas, and aid in the prediction of potential hydrocarbon-bearing reservoirs within the Darling Basin region.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express gratitude to the Geological Survey of NSW, NSW Resources and Energy in Australia, for providing access to the reports set and corresponding drill-hole information used and presented in this research project. We thank International Journal of Earth Sciences editorial staff and journal reviewers Ralph Bottrill and Phillip Cooney for thoughtful and constructive comments and suggestions which improved the manuscript significantly.

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Khalifa, M.K., Mills, K.J. & Ben Mahmud, H.K. Facies analysis, depositional environment interpretation and lithostratigraphic architecture to predict reservoir potential of the Devonian Ravendale Interval in the Bancannia Trough, western Darling Basin, SE Australia. Int J Earth Sci (Geol Rundsch) 108, 2247–2270 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00531-019-01760-4

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Keywords

  • Bancannia Trough
  • Darling Basin
  • Ravendale Interval
  • Wireline logs
  • Facies and subfacies
  • Facies associations
  • Electrofacies
  • Lithostratigraphic units
  • Reservoir units