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Sedimentology, Ichnology and Biogenic Permeability of the upper Montney Formation, northeast British Columbia Open Access


Other title
biogenic permeability
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Gegolick, Aimee E
Supervisor and department
Zonneveld, John-Paul (Earth and Atmospheric Science)
Examining committee member and department
Kavanaugh, Jeff (Earth and Atmospheric Science)
Gingras, Murray (Earth and Atmospheric Science)
Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

Date accepted
Graduation date
2017-11:Fall 2017
Master of Science
Degree level
The upper Montney Formation is a tight gas reservoir that consists of silt and very fine-grained sandstone in its entirety. Despite its limited variation in grain-size, this formation is highly heterogeneous and the distribution of facies is complex, both vertically and laterally. Subtle changes in characteristics affect reservoir properties, resulting in compartmentalization of resources. These changes include frequently interbedded facies and sporadically distributed bioturbation. A detailed analysis of the subsurface reservoir was conducted in order to provide insight into these subtle heterogeneities. Fourteen cores within the upper Montney of northeast British Columbia were studied in order to interpret depositional processes and assess bioturbated fabrics and their relationship with permeability and porosity. Five facies were identified, representing deposition within the distal offshore to offshore transition zone. Sediment was sourced from low-density turbidity currents. Varying velocity within the boundary layer of turbulent flow was likely the mechanism for the physical separation of coarser and finer silt components. This mechanical separation resulted in the development of pinstripe laminae that dominate the formation. Permeability was assessed with a Core Laboratories Pressure Decay Profile Permeameter (PDPK-400) to characterize the effects of bioturbation on permeability and assess its utility for fine-grained rocks. Spot permeametry provides the most discrete measurement that can be obtained and the bulk permeability provides a representative value for a given fabric. Results from the permeability testing demonstrate that pervasively bioturbated fabrics locally enhance permeability relative to nonbiotubated fabrics. Bioturbation needs to be pervasive in order to significantly adjust pore aperture sizes. Permeability anisotropy was tested, however, spot-permeametry is unable to characterize anisotropy resulting in more homogenous trends vertically.
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