Title: From outcrop and petrographic studies to basin-scaale fluid flow modelling: the use of the Albanian natural laboratory for carbonate reservoir characterisation
Authors: Vilasi, Nad├Ęge ×
Malandain, Julien
Barrier, Laurie
Callot, Jean-Paul
Amrouch, Khalid
Guilhaumou, Nicole
Lacombe, Olivier
Muska, Kristaq
Roure, François
Swennen, Rudy #
Issue Date: 1-Sep-2009
Publisher: Elsevier Scientific Pub. Co.
Series Title: Tectonophysics vol:474 issue:1-2 pages:367-392
Abstract: The Albanian fold-and-thrust belt and the Peri-Adriatic Depression are well documented by means of seismic
reflection profiles, GPS reference points, potential data, wells and outcrops. The continuous Oligocene to Plio-
Quaternary sedimentary records help to constrain both the burial history of Mesozoic carbonate reservoirs,
the timing of their deformation, and the coupled fluid flow and diagenetic scenarios.
Since the mid-90s, the Albanian foothills were used as a natural laboratory to develop a new integrated
methodology and work flow for the study of sub-thrust reservoir evolution, and to validate on real case
studies the use of basin modelling tools as well as the application of new analytical methods for the study
petroleum systems in tectonically complex areas.
The integration of the interactions between petrographic and microtectonic studies, kinematic, thermal and
fluid flow basin modelling, is described in detail. The fracturing of the reservoir intervals has a pre-folding
origin in the Albanides and relates to the regional flexuring in the foreland. The first recorded cement has a
meteoric origin, implying downward migration and the development of an earlier forebulge in the Ionian
Basin. This fluid, which precipitates at a maximum depth of 1.5 km, is highly enriched in strontium, attesting
for important fluid–rock interaction with the Triassic evaporites, located in diapirs. From this stage, the
horizontal tectonic compression increases and the majority of the fluid migrated under high pressure,
characterised by brecciated and crack-seal vein. The tectonic burial increased due to the overthrusting, that is
pointed out by the increase of the precipitation temperature of the cements. Afterwards, up- or downward
migration of SO42−, Ba2+ and Mg2+-rich fluids, which migrated probably along the décollement level, allows a
precipitation in thermal disequilibrium. This period corresponds to the onset of the thrusting in the Ionian
Zone. The last stage characterised the uplift of the Berati belt, developing a selective karstification due likely
to the circulation of meteoric fluid.
The main results of the fluid flow modelling show that the Upper Cretaceous–Paleocene carbonate reservoirs
in the Ionian zone have been charged from the Tortonian onward, and that meteoric fluid migration should
have intensely biodegraded the hydrocarbon in place. Concerning the migration paths, it has been
demonstrated that the thrusts act principally as flow barriers in Albania, mainly due the occurrence of
evaporites (non-permeable), except in the foreland, where they do not occur.
ISSN: 0040-1951
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Division of Geology
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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