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A geologic model of a carbonate patch-reef complex is proposed. When applied to subsurface control where wells have been cored, the model is designed to actually position a well location with respect to a stratigraphic trap formed by the patch reef. The model is lithofacies governed and is based upon those facies relationships observed among several Gulf Cost patch-reef examples. The relationship between variations in effective porosity and permeability and the variations in lithofacies appears to be direct, judging from the examples studies. This direct relationship points to the formation of a permeability barrier stratigraphic trap where certain updip and lateral facies changes occur.
Only primary porosity and permeability are considered by the model. The effects of secondary porosity, fracturing, dolomitization, and/or secondary cementation can be considered by a second model applied as an overprint to the first.
Application of the model as an additional exploratory tool in carbonates where reservoir quality is a function of lithofacies distribution can lead to the drilling and discovery of numerous subtle stratigraphic traps.
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