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3D seismic characterization of the polygonal fault systems and its impact on fluid flow migration: An example from the Northern Carnarvon Basin, Australia


Publication date: August 2018 Source:Journal of Petroleum Science and Engineering, Volume 167 Author(s): Hamed A. Alrefaee, Sayantan Gosh, Mohamed I. Abdel-Fattah

We used high-resolution 3D seismic data and applied seismic attribute analysis to geometrically interpret and characterize the polygonal fault systems in the Paleocene-Eocene sequence of the Rankin Platform Sub-basin, Northern Carnarvon Basin, Australia. The polygonal faults were identified in a stratigraphic sequence dominated by calcareous clay with minor calcilutite at its lower section that changes to argillaceous calcilutite and calcareous claystone at its upper section. Seismic sections and time slices, through multi-attribute (coherence, energy ratio similarity, and curvature) volumes display a dense distribution of normal faults with polygonal shape and small throws in the plain view. The polygonal fault systems (PFS) exist in two well-defined tiers, which can act as pathways for the fluid flow migration. The first tier coincides with the upper section (Early-Middle Eocene Wilcox Formation) with a few faults and the second one coincides with the lower section of the sequence (Paleocene Lambert and Dockrell formations) with a greater number of faults. Proper understanding and interpretation of the polygonal fault systems as non-tectonic extensional faults are a critical issue in assessing the migration pathway for hydrocarbon (gas) through the Paleocene-Eocene sequence in the Northern Carnarvon Basin, and elsewhere in the world.