Examining Bindley Field, Hodgeman County Kansas and surrounding areas for productive lithofacies using an artificial neural network model



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Kansas State University


The Meramec member of Mississippian age is a proficient oil and gas producing formation within the midcontinent region of the United States. It is produced in Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. In Kansas, 12% of the state’s petroleum production comes from Mississippian-aged rocks. Bindley Field, located in central west Kansas, has produced 3,669,283 barrels of oil from one facies within the M2 interval of the Meramec formation. This facies is a grain-supported echinoderm/bryozoan dolostone, of variable thickness. Its sporadic occurrence in the subsurface has made exploring Bindley Field and the surrounding area difficult. The challenge in finding oil in this area is in locating a producible zone of this productive facies.
Previously, Bindley Field has been the subject of detailed reservoir characterization studies (Ebanks et al., 1977; Johnson, 1990; Johnson, 1994). These studies helped to contribute to a better understanding of Meramecian stratigraphy in Kansas. The Meramec was divided into four major depositional sequences, with some of those sequences nonexistent in the subsurface, due to aerial exposure and erosion post-deposition. The Meramecian units were further separated into parasequence-scale chronostratigraphic units based on marine flooding events. The primary producing interval in Bindley Field is the Meramec 2 interval which consists of seven lithotypes, and is recognized to have six, meter-scale depositional cycles (Johnson, 1990). As production from this interval increased, more information became available about controls on reservoir quality. There are still areas, however, where core data do not exist, and predicting the productive facies remains challenging.
The aim of this study is to create a workflow for evaluating the subsurface using regional core and log data from Bindley Field to create a model of the subsurface distribution of the reservoir facies, which could be extended to data poor areas. Geophysical logs (neutron, gamma ray, guard) along with an artificial neural network (ANN), was used to create an accurate prediction of producing intervals within the subsurface. Values are derived from wire line log data and used to develop the ANN definition of facies distribution within Bindley Field. The ANN model was examined for accuracy and precision using core description and well cuttings from wells within Bindley Field and the surrounding area. Correlations were found between the subsurface geometry of the study area, and the production of oil and gas within the study area. An ANN model with an accuracy of 72% was achieved and applied to wells surrounding the Bindley Field, where reservoir intervals have not been as extensively studied. A total of 87 wells in Bindley Field and the surrounding 50 square mile area where applied to the ANN model. The model predicted that the productive facies thickens gradually to the northwest of Bindley Field. Cross sections as well as an isopach map were created using the prediction data from the ANN. Finally, an analysis for the accuracy of the ANN and the predicted facies was created. The productive facies yielded an accuracy value of 77%.



Artificial neural network, Mississippian, Meramec

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Master of Science


Department of Geology

Major Professor

Matthew W. Totten