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Petrogenesis of the Tikorangi Formation fracture reservoir, Waihapa-Ngaere Field, Taranaki Basin

The subsurface mid-Tertiary Tikorangi Formation is the sole limestone and the only fracture-producing hydrocarbon reservoir within Taranaki Basin. This study, based on core material from seven wells in the onshore Waihapa/Ngaere Field, uses a range of petrographic (standard, CL, UV, SEM) and geochemical techniques (stable isotope, trace element data, XRD) to unravel a complex diagenetic history for the Tikorangi Formation. A series of eight major geological-diagenetic events for the host rock and fracture systems have been established, ranging from burial cementation through to hydrocarbon emplacement within mineralized fractures. For each diagenetic event a probable temperature field has been identified which, combined with a geohistory plot, has enabled the timing of events to be determined. This study has shown that the Tikorangi Formation comprises a complex mixed siliciclastic-carbonate-rich sequence of rocks that exhibit generally tight, pressure-dissolved, and well cemented fabrics with negligible porosity and permeability other than in fractures. Burial cementation of the host rocks occurred at temperatures of 27-37°C from about 0.5-1.0 km burial depths. Partial replacement dolomitisation occurred during late burial diagenesis at temperatures of 36-50°C and at burial depths of about 1.0 km, without any secondary porosity development. Fracturing occurred after dolomitisation and was associated with compression and thrusting on the Taranaki Fault. The location of more carbonate/dolomite-rich units may have implications for the location of better-developed fracture network systems and for hydrocarbon prospectivity and production. Hydrocarbon productivity has been ultimately determined by original depositional facies, diagenesis, and deformation. Within the fracture systems, a complex suite of vein calcite, dolomite, quartzine, and celestite minerals has been precipitated prior to hydrocarbon emplacement, which have substantially healed and reduced fracture porosities and permeabilities. The occurrence of multiple vein mineral phases, collectively forming a calcite/dolomite-celestite-quartzine mineral assemblage, points to fluid compositions varying both spatially and temporally. The fluids responsible for vein mineralisation in the Tikorangi Formation probably involved waters of diverse origins and compositions. Vein mineralisation records a history of changing pore fluid chemistry and heating during burial, punctuated by changes in the relative input and mixing of downward circulating meteoric and upwelling basinal fluids. A sequence of mineralisation events and their probable burial depth/temperature fields have been defined, ranging from temperatures of 50-80°C and burial depths of 1.0-2.3 km. Hydrocarbon emplacement has occurred over the last 6 m.y. following the vein mineralization events. The Tikorangi Formation must continue to be viewed as a potential fracture reservoir play within Taranaki Basin.
Conference Contribution
Type of thesis
Hood, S. D., Nelson, C. S. & Kamp, P. J. J. (2002). Petrogenesis of the Tikorangi Formation fracture reservoir, Waihapa-Ngaere Field, Taranaki Basin. In Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2002, 24 – 27 February, Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development, Wellington.
Crown Minerals, Ministry of Economic Development
This article has been published in Proceedings of New Zealand Petroleum Conference 2002, 24 – 27 February. © 2002 S. J. Hood, Nelson, C. S. & P. J. J. Kamp.