Mass Transport Deposits (MTDs) may constitute a critical factor in modeling fluid flow because they have low porosity and permeability values. However the ability for MTDs to act as subsurface seals is, at present, a poorly understood phenomenon. A research project was undertaken in field of the Atwater Valley 349 block, eastern Gulf of Mexico to specify the role of mass transport processes in defining the geometry and transmissibility nature of contacts between MTDs and reservoir-bearing strata, and to better understand the role of mass transport processes in the shaping of hydrocarbon traps. Recent studies have demonstrated that clay mineral fabric intensity within MTDs can be altered during deposition or through near surface modification processes rather than as part of normal consolidation or diagenetic processes. Recognition of zones with enhanced microfabrics has important implications for seismic anisotropy as well as for shallow fluid and sealing potential evaluation.

Current Research Projects

Sealing Capacity of Mass Transport Deposits: Depositional Model for Deepwater Reservoir in the Jubilee Gas Field, Eastern Gulf of Mexico