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Burial dolomitisation in a non-tropical carbonate petroleum reservoir; the Oligocene Tikorangi Formation, Taranaki Basin, New Zealand

, : Burial dolomitisation in a non-tropical carbonate petroleum reservoir; the Oligocene Tikorangi Formation, Taranaki Basin, New Zealand. Sedimentary Geology 172(1-2): 117-138

The Oligocene Tikorangi Formation is a subsurface, non-tropical, limestone-rich, fracture-producing oil reservoir in Taranaki Basin, New Zealand. The formation is distinct from uplifted and exposed age-equivalent New Zealand limestones due to partial dolomitisation by modest quantities of silt-sized, scattered, inclusion-rich, euhedral dolomite rhombs, occasionally displaying idiotopic fabrics. Rhombs commonly have dull luminescent Fe-rich cores, and oscillatory bright and dull concentric outers. The dolomites are non-stoichiometric, high calcian and highly ferroan varieties. Dolomite (super 18) O and (super 13) C values are moderately depleted, while associated precursor calcite phases are less depleted. Petrographic, geochemical and geohistory evidence suggest that the dolomite formed during and following the later stages of pressure-dissolution cementation in a relatively closed, moderately deep burial environment (ca. 0.85-1.9 km burial depth, ca. 33-65 degrees C) in the early Miocene (ca. 24-18 Ma) from warm, saline-enriched pore fluids by mainly mimic fabric-selective replacement of interparticle, and rarely intraparticle, micrite/matrix. Dolomitisation did not affect skeletal grains or calcite cements or develop any secondary porosity. Mg supply was restricted and was likely sourced internally from micritic inter- and intraparticle precursor material, and from the pressure-dissolution of calcitic skeletons. Importantly, dolomitisation occurred prior to compression-related brittle fracturing of the carbonates, responsible for creating extensive hydrocarbon-bearing fracture networks. Because of the greater susceptibility of the dolomitised limestones to brittle fracturing, their location and distribution may have important implications for hydrocarbon prospectivity and production within the Tikorangi Formation.


DOI: 10.1016/j.sedgeo.2004.08.005

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