Assessing the Origin of Maykop Suite Sandstones

Deep Water Plays in the Western Black Sea:
Insights into Sediment provenance within the Maykop Depositional System

/Portals/1/Images/IEnergyImages/Publishing/AAPG_ICE_London/MS_Maykop_Varna_5609_lr.jpg?ver=2017-08-10-134251-653The Maykop Suite, spanning the Black Sea and its margins, the Greater Caucasus and the South Caspian Sea, is an area of interest due to its fine-grained, organic-rich sediments and sandstone packages deposited during the Oligocene to middle Miocene. To assess reservoir quality and potential of this deepwater turbidite play, geodynamic history must be taken into account, so that topography of hinterland surrounding the Western Black Sea can be constrained and sediment provenance areas identified. Subsurface and outcrop data can be used to further recognize sediment pathways, which can be combined with provenance findings to make informed predictions. Some prospects include the NE Moesian Platform, the Strandja Massif and parts of the Balkanides with crystalline basement (gneiss) and Variscan and Late Cretaceous granitic plutons that would yield high quality, quartz-rich sediment when eroded. That’s just the beginning…

AAPG 2017 International Conference & Exhibition, London

This year’s AAPG International Conference & Exhibition will take place from 15th October to 18th October in London, UK, during which M.D. Simmons (Halliburton Technology Fellow) will present on: Deep Water Plays in the Western Black Sea: Insights into Sediment Provenance within the Maykop Depositional System.

Abstract: Maykop Suite is the name given to distinctive, often organic, carbon-rich sediments, deposited during the Oligocene to middle Miocene within a region that spans the Black Sea and its margins, the Greater Caucasus and the South Caspian Sea. The Oligocene to Miocene time period encompasses several eustatic and regional changes in sea level, which are recorded within the Maykop Suite by the cyclic deposition of fine-grained, organic-rich sediments and sandstone packages. These sandstones have long been considered an exploration target in the deep water western Black Sea, confirmed by recent success within the Han Asparuh Block, offshore Bulgaria.

In order to assess the prospectivity of plays within the Maykop sandstones, the provenance of the sediment must be established, as this will be a primary control on reservoir quality. By taking into account geodynamic history, the topography of the hinterland surrounding the Western Black Sea can be constrained and sediment provenance areas identified. Subsurface and outcrop data can then be used to further recognize sediment pathways within the basin. These elements (provenance and pathway) combined can then be used to make assessments on the prospectivity of deep water turbidite plays within the Maykop Suite.

The presence of a widespread Late Cretaceous volcaniclastics related to arc magmatism would provide poor quality sediment in limited volumes. Nonetheless, areas such as the NE Moesian Platform, the Strandja Massif and parts of the Balkanides contain crystalline basement (gneiss) and Variscan and Late Cretaceous granitic plutons that would yield high quality, quartz-rich sediment when eroded. In particular, a major axial river system can be envisaged with the Kamchia Foredeep to the north of the Balkanides, formed when the foredeep was underfilled. This river would have been fed by tributaries draining the granite bodies in the Balkanides and Strandja Massif. In its current overfilled state, drainage in the Kamchia Foredeep is dominantly to the north and joins the Danube, but in the Oligocene drainage would have been west to east and flown out into the Black Sea via canyon systems that have been identified on seismic. Granite bodies such as the Bolu Massif in the Western Pontides could also have provided clean quartz-rich sediments to the basin, although features such as the Kozlu High offshore would have trapped or deflected sediment.

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This is one of a series of technical presentations, which will be delivered by Halliburton experts at the AAPG International Conference & Exhibition, London event on 15-18 October 2017. The full details of the event and agenda can be found here.

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