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Dakota (Cretaceous) Core from Cheyenne County

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Fluid Flow Characteristics of Core

by Floyd Preston

An analysis of routine core analysis data from the No. 1 Beaumeister well revealed a relation between porosity and permeability that is characteristic of the sands of the Dakota Group.

Experimental Procedure

Samples were taken at depths between 2,036 and 2,472 feet in all beds that contained sand. Cores 5/8 inch in diameter and 1 inch long were cut from the larger well cores with a diamond drill using water as a lubricant. The cores were oven dried at 115°C for two hours. All core samples were taken perpendicular to the axis of the well core samples.

Effective porosity of the samples was determined as the ratio of pore volume to bulk volume. Bulk volume was calculated from measurements of core length and diameter. Pore volume was taken as the volume of water necessary to saturate the core completely. Complete saturation was obtained by evacuating the air from the cores in a closed container and subsequently covering the cores with water. The volume of water saturating the cores was determined from the water density and the gain in core weight by saturation.

Permeability was determined by use of air at pressures only slightly above atmospheric pressure. No correction was made for the Klinkenberg effect. Air flow rate was measured by stopwatch and wet-test positive displacement gas meter. For the permeability tests, the cores were sealed into circular aluminum rings 1 1/8 inch inside diameter by use of Cerrobend, a heavy-metal alloy melting at 170°F. This mounting permitted air to flow through the core in the direction of coring of the small samples.

Effective porosity, expressed as percent, and air permeability in millidarcys are presented in Table 9.

Table 9—Porosity and permeability data for the Dakota Group in the Guy F. Atkinson No. 1 Beaumeister well.

Sample
number
Depth,
feet
Effective
porosity,
percent
Permeability,
millidarcys
Stratigraphic
unit
1 2,036 6.8 432 Gurley
2 2,039 1/2 33.8 543 Gurley
3 2,077 16.6 133 Gurley
4 2,082 25.8 1,070 Gurley
5 2,085 26.0 1,120 Gurley
6 2,088 25.7 615 Gurley
7 2,095 1/2 20.1 86 Gurley
8 2,104 20.4 230 Gurley
9 2,106 22.1 292 Gurley
10 2,109 19.0 307 Gurley
11 2,112 24.4 1,510 Gurley
12 2,129 25.1 2,120 Huntsman
13 2,235 18.8 460 Cruise
14 2,238 4.4 31 Cruise
15 2,239 21.9 283 Cruise
16 2,243 21.6 193 Cruise
17 2,244 20.7 134 Cruise
18 2,256 22.7 186 Cruise
19 2,259 24.8 812 Cruise
20 2,263 24.7 1,750 Cruise
21 2,265 27.2 1,800 Cruise
22 2,266 27.7 1,000 Cruise
23 2,267 27.2 1,065 Cruise
24 2,268 27.6 1,330 Cruise
25 2,269 22.1 527 Cruise
26 2,270 24.4 235 Cruise
27 2,271 19.7 67.5 Cruise
28 2,273 27.1 711 Cruise
29 2,274 27.8 1,630 Cruise
30 2,275 26.5 1,280 Cruise
31 2,276 27.4 1,275 Cruise
32 2,277 26.3 747 Cruise
33 2,278 26.7 1,510 Cruise
34 2,279 27.3 2,150 Cruise
35 2,280 27.0 1,680 Cruise
36 2,281 27.7 2,170 Cruise
37 2,282 24.8 1,980 Cruise
38 2,283 26.9 1,250 Cruise
39 2,284 26.1 2,380 Cruise
40 2,285 25.1 1,720 Cruise
41 2,286 26.3 1,810 Cruise
42 2,287 25.3 1,770 Cruise
43 2,288 26.5 1,390 Cruise
44 2,289 27.2 1,560 Cruise
45 2,290 26.8 1,410 Cruise
46 2,291 26.8 1,620 Cruise
47 2,292 25.9 1,620 Cruise
48 2,293 26.7 1,750 Cruise
49 2,294 24.7 1,750 Cruise
50 2,295 26.5 1,390 Cruise
51 2,296 26.7 1,400 Cruise
52 2,297 26.8 1,680 Cruise
53 2,298 23.3 1,650 Cruise
54 2,299 28.0 1,275 Cruise
55 2,300 27.7 2,690 Cruise
56 2,301 27.3 2,270 Cruise
57 2,302 27.3 2,450 Cruise
58 2,303 30.0 1,550 Cruise
59 2,304 25.0 1,820 Cruise
60 2,305 21.8 1,450 Cruise
61 2,306 25.6 2,290 Cruise
62 2,421 1:9.7 687 Cheyenne
63 2,424 19.8 980 Cheyenne
64 2,437 24.2 308 Cheyenne
65 2,439 25.4 564 Cheyenne
66 2,440 25.1 1,580 Cheyenne
67 2,441 27.7 1,240 Cheyenne
68 2,442 25.5 750 Cheyenne
69 2,457 22.1 1,670 Cheyenne
70 2,458 21.6 301 Cheyenne
71 2,463 22.2 302 Cheyenne
72 2,464 22.2 1,270 Cheyenne
73 2,465 23.3 620 Cheyenne
74 2,466 25.4 673 Cheyenne
75 2,467 24.7 1,000 Cheyenne
76 2,468 25.1 1,270 Cheyenne
77 2,469 23.7 650 Cheyenne
78 2,470 23.7 1,030 Cheyenne
79 2,471 23.5 678 Cheyenne
80 2,472 24.0 750 Cheyenne

Porosity-Permeability Analysis

A frequent representation of a porosity-permeability correlation is that of a straight line on log-log paper (Muskat, 1949, p. 168). The equation for this line is:

φ = AKb         (1)

which may also be expressed as:

log φ = log A+b log K         (2)

A least squares fit to the line of equation (1) was found by use of the following substitutions:

log φ = Y          (3)

log K = X

log A = a

b=b

Use of the relation (3) with equation (2) yields:

Y = a + bX          (4)

The intercept, a, and the slope, b, for the line represented by equation (4) were found from the following standard equations of least squares (Youden, 1951, p. 40-49)

a = [∑X2∑Y - ∑X∑XY] / [n∑X2 - (∑X)2]          (5)

b = [n∑XY - ∑X∑Y] / [n∑X2 - (∑X)2]          (6)

The term n is the number of data points (Xi, Yi), and all summations are for n terms.

An approximate measure of the precision of the data is the standard deviation S (or alternately the variance, S2), which is obtainable from the equation:

S2 = Sum of squares of deviations / Degrees of freedom          (7)

S2 = ∑Y2 - {[∑XY - ∑X∑Y / n]2 / [∑X2 - (∑X)2 / n]}          (8)

The measures of precision for the intercept and slope are the standard deviation of the intercept, Sa, and the standard deviation of the slope, Sb, obtainable from the following relations:

Sa2 = S2∑X2 / n∑X2 - (∑X)2          (9)

Sb2 = S2 / {∑X2 - [(∑X)2 / n]}          (10)

Equations 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10 were coded for a digital computer (IBM 650) using the Bell Telephone Laboratories interpretative routine.

The straight line constants of equation (4) were computed for each group of porosity-permeability data listed in Table 9. The statistical parameters S, Sa, and Sb were also determined. Computation for each group required approximately 30 seconds of machine time. Calculated results for a, b, S, Sa, and Sb are given in Table 10.

Table 10—Statistical analysis of porosity-permeability curves.

Stratigraphic
unit
Intercept,
a
Slope,
b
Statistical parameters
S Sa Sb
Gurley 0.981 0.145 0.0683 0.146 0.0552
Cruise 1.145 .086 .0300 .0374 .0122
Cheyenne 1.286 .030 .0383 .115 .0399
All groups 1.111 .095 .395 .0367 .0124

The interpretation for the terms Sa and Sb are as follows: the data for porosity and permeability are regarded as a single sampling of an infinite population. If this sampling is repeated a large number of times, then approximately two thirds of the values for a, found by equation 5, will be within the limits a ± Sa. The same interpretation is to be applied to Sb. The value of (a) will be within the limits a ± Sa for about 95 percent of the samples.

The curves of Figure 12 and the data of Table 10 can be used to determine the range of permeability to be expected from a sample having a given permeability. The curves also serve to illustrate the lithologic similarity of all members of the Dakota Group. The actual statistical identity of the porosity-permeability relations for all stratigraphic units could not be tested without an extensive mathematical analysis of the data.

Figure 12—Porosity-permeability relation of No. 1 Beaumeister well (A) Gurley Sandstone, (B) Cruise Sandstone, (C) Cheyenne Sandstone, and (D) Dakota Group.

Porosity-permeability relation of No. 1 Beaumeister well.

Core Analysis Data

Table 11 contains data made available by the Guy F. Atkinson Company. The measurements of water saturation reflect gravity drainage from the cores prior to saturation determination. Such behavior is to be expected from cores of high permeability.

Table 11—Core analysis data: Guy F. Atkinson Company No. 1 Beaumeister, Cheyenne County, Kansas.

Sample
no.
Depth,
feet
Vertical
permeability,
millidarcys
Horizontal
permeability,
millidarcys
Porosity,
percent
Residual saturation,
percent of pore space
Oil Water
1 2033.9 13 111 25.0 0.0 48.0
2 2079.2 467 214 27.3 0.0 53.8
3 2080.7 377 183 28.5 0.0 63.1
4 2085.7 390 298 31.5 0.0 63.4
5 2087.5 13 54 25.7 2.3 54.1
6 2088.9 153 139 28.7 0.0 54.4
7 2090.7 5.1 148 26.4 3.0 37.1
8 2098.6 18 7.5 22.4 0.0 45.1
9 2102.6 26 7.7 21.1 3.3 45.5
10 2103.7 119 19 23.9 2.9 35.1
11 2104.6 113 211 29.5 2.4 36.3
12 2106.7 788 357 30.0 0.0 43.3
13 2112.8 140 214 30.3 0.0 35.0
14 2195.6 270 69 31.6 0.0 61.4
15 2196.5 21 222 29.3 0.0 72.0
16 2197.6 5.8 6.4 14.5 0.0 90.3
17 2198.5 362 74 30.0 0.0 65.0
18 2199.3 172 88 30.2 0.0 37.7
19 2257.5 137 560 30.2 0.0 66.9
20 2258.4 320 521 31.3 2.2 56.9
21 2259.4 234 283 30.6 2.3 50.0
22 2260.5 183 410 32.3 0.0 62.5
23 2261.7 295 377 29.5 0.0 41.7
24 2262.9 833 585 32.4 0.0 62.9
25 2263.6 893 710 33.8 0.0 57.1
26 2264.3 637 710 33.3 0.0 58.5
27 2265.7 507 666 34.3 0.0 47.2
28 2266.4 580 370 33.0 0.0 64.5
29 2269.7 48 140 31.5 0.0 65.7
30 2270.4 580 580 3404 0.0 61.3
31 2271.3 88 140 29.5 0.0 48.5
32 2272.7 64 200 30.6 0.0 51.6
33 2273.6 630 1456 33.6 0.0 61.3
34 2274.5 157 468 34.6 0.0 65.0
35 2275.4 660 585 35.8 0.0 52.8
36 2276.6 950 914 35.3 0.0 50.1
37 2277.6 729 787 34.5 0.0 53.6
38 2278.6 414 183 32.0 0.0 58.7
39 2279.5 378 383 32.8 0.0 58.2
40 2283.6 747 570 32.8 0.0 63.4
41 2285.5 606 276 29.8 0.0 63.7
42 2288.7 1017 596 32.9 0.0 52.0
43 2290.7 660 760 33.2 0.0 58.1
44 2293.6 534 528 31.3 0.0 63.6
45 2298.5 846 787 34.5 0.0 57.7
46 2302.7 883 815 35.5 0.0 62.8
47 2304.6 998 740 35.8 0.0 57.3

An analysis of the data for horizontal versus vertical permeability data revealed that, at the percent confidence limit, there is no statistical difference in permeability in the vertical and horizontal directions for short core samples. Thus, both high and low vertical permeabilities are found with equal frequency for a given horizontal permeability. The regression line, or straight line through the data of Figure 13, was found to be:

log Kv = a + b log Kh
a = 0.338 ± 0.280
b = 0.841 ± 0.115

where Kv and Kh are respectively the vertical and horizontal permeabilities in millidarcys. The uncertainties in a and b are the standard deviations of these terms.

It is quite conceivable that a much different relation would be found if cores one to several feet in length were studied. The presence of thin shale lenses or zones of heavy cementation would effectively reduce vertical permeability but would not influence greatly the horizontal permeability.

Figure 13—Horizontal and vertical permeability of Dakota sands from No. 1 Beaumeister well.

Horizontal and vertical permeability of Dakota sands from No. 1 Beaumeister well.

Summary

By Daniel F. Merriam, Paul C. Franks, and Norman Plummer

This well in Cheyenne County is isolated as a result of (1) complex lithologic changes between it and the well-known outcrop area on the east in central Kansas, (2) absence of information in extreme eastern Colorado on the west, (3) poor exposures and lack of detailed studies to the south, and (4) absence of information to the north where these rocks are buried by a cover of younger deposits. Correlation of stratigraphic units with areas where information is available is difficult because of the great distances involved. Certainly much additional work on the Dakota Group, both surface and subsurface, is necessary. It is hoped that this report will serve as a reference for future studies in the area.

Thicknesses—Thickness of the Pierre Shale is 1,120 feet in the No. 1 Beaumeister well. Regionally the formation is beveled at the top; hence thicknesses may differ radically within short distances. James D. Bishop observed a possible fault zone in the core between 1,040 and 1,060 feet, near the base of the Pierre Shale. Numerous small normal faults have been reported in northwestern Kansas, and where found in the subsurface most of these affect the upper part of the Niobrara Formation or lower part of the Pierre Shale. The Niobrara Formation is 520 feet thick. This thickness is fairly close to what would be expected (Lee and Merriam, 1954, p. 18). The Carlile Shale is 240 feet thick; average thickness in the region is about 200 feet. The Greenhorn Limestone is 85 feet thick and the Graneros Shale 59 feet. A thickness of 274 feet for the Omadi Formation conforms to the regional thickness of the formation as shown in Figure 2A. The same is true for the Kiowa Shale, which is about 111 feet thick (Fig. 2B), and the Cheyenne Sandstone, which is about 170 feet thick (Fig. 2C). Thickness of the Morrison Formation is 305 feet, which agrees with an isopachous map published by Merriam (1955).

Post-Dakota lithologic units—The post-Dakota stratigraphic units encountered in the No. 1 Beaumeister well are lithologically similar to the same units in other parts of western Kansas. The Pierre, a dark-gray noncalcareous shale containing fragments of Inoceramus and other fossil shells, is easily recognized. The Niobrara Formation, which is a mottled gray calcareous shale containing numerous fragments of Inoceramus, may be identified with little difficulty in samples. The Fort Hays member of the Niobrara is characterized by white chalky limestone and abundant microfossils, of which Globigerina is most common. Many thin light-bluish-gray bentonite beds occur in the Pierre and Niobrara formations. The Carlile Shale and its three members are easily differentiated; the Codell at the top is actually more of a siltstone than a sandstone; the Blue Hill is dark gray, noncalcareous, pyritic, and fossiliferous; and the Fairport at the base is a medium-gray to dark-gray shale mottled white. At the top of the Fairport member is a thin white limestone, which is persistent over much of western Kansas. The Greenhorn Limestone is light gray and hard. The Graneros Shale is dark gray and locally contains abundant Globigerina. Bentonite also is prominent in the Carlile, Greenhorn, and. Graneros formations, as are Inoceramus fragments. A 2-foot bentonite bed cored at a depth of 2,000 to 2,002 feet is thought to be the "Bentonite marker bed" that is easily traced regionally on electric logs.

Dakota lithologic units—Rocks of the Omadi Formation bear little resemblance to the Dakota Formation, which occupies the stratigraphic interval between the Kiowa and Graneros shales at the outcrop in central Kansas. Glauconite, which is common in sandstone of the Omadi Formation, is sparse or absent in the Dakota Formation. Swineford and Williams (1945, p. 116), however, have reported a zone of calcite-cemented glauconitic sandstone about 50 feet above the base in the Dakota Formation in southwestern Russell County. Well-cemented Dakota sandstone like that described by Swineford (1947) was not observed in the core. Siderite "pellets", which are found extensively on the outcrop of the Dakota Formation, are sparse in the core of the Cruise member of the Omadi Formation.

The mudstone sequence in the Cruise member between depths of 2,190 and 2,234 feet bears some similarity to the Janssen member and to the basal part of the Terra Cotta member of the Dakota Formation. Both the mudstone sequence and the Janssen Clay member contain bedded coaly material near the top (Plummer and Romary, 1942, p. 336); both units are composed of very dark gray mudstone and siltstone near the top; clays from both units fire buff (Plummer and Romary, 1947); both units contain siderite "pellets", although the "pellets" are sparse in the Cruise and abundant in the Dakota; and the kaolinite-illite ratio in the mudstone sequence of the Cruise is somewhat greater than that in the other members of the Omadi Forposed of very dark gray mudstone and siltstone near the top; mation just as it is greater in the Janssen Clay. It should be noted, however, that the ratio of kaolinite to illite is much greater in the Janssen Clay member of the Dakota Formation than it is in any part of the Omadi Formation (Plummer and others, 1954, p. 171-193).

The firing tests allowed easier differentiation of unlike claymineral assemblages than did either x-ray diffraction or differential thermal analysis, and accordingly allowed easier differentiation of the mudstone sequence in the Cruise, .because the firing operation is much simpler and much faster.

The small number of samples of Cheyenne Sandstone examined in connection with the petrographic, x-ray, and differential thermal studies indicate that the Cheyenne Sandstone cored in the Guy F. Atkinson No. 1 Beaumeister well is similar in gross lithology (except for the clay fraction) to Cheyenne Sandstone from other parts of Kansas (Latta, 1941, p. 70; Swineford and Williams, 1945, p. 121; Nixon, Runnels, and Kulstad, 1950, p. 52). The same also is true of the Graneros and Kiowa Shales (Plummer and Romary, 1942, p. 320-347).

Pre-Dakota lithologic units—Pre-Dakota rock units in the well are likewise similar in lithology to pre-Dakota units in other parts of western Kansas. The Morrison Formation consists principally of light-green or other pastel shades of soft sandy shale containing various amounts of limestone, sandstone, chert, and anhyrdite. Morrison rocks cored at a depth of 2,800 to 2,827 feet include part of the chert zone described by Ogden (1954) and Merriam (1955). Top of the Permian redbeds is difficult to place exactly, because the upper part of the redbeds sequence commonly is leached so that the rocks appear very light red or darker brown. Shales of these colors are easily confused with the pastel Morrison shales. The leached zone, which probably represents a weathered zone, is about 30 feet thick in the No. 1 Beaumeister well.

Stratigraphic boundaries—Stratigraphic boundaries of the different post-Dakota and pre-Dakota formations in the No. 1 Beaumeister well are sharp. The Cheyenne-Kiowa and KiowaOmadi contacts also are sharp, but differentiation of the members of the Omadi Formation . on lithology alone presents a more difficult problem. For example, the mudstone sequence in the Cruise Sandstone member is lithologically more easily recognizable than the Huntsman Shale member, whereas on electric logs the Huntsman is distinct in northwestern Kansas. The electrical characteristics of the Huntsman Shale seemingly are easier to recognize than the lithology of the unit. There seems to be no key or marker bed in the Omadi Formation that can be traced for long-distance correlation.

Only two recognizable breaks occur in the stratigraphic section in the No. 1 Beaumeister well that suggest interruption in sedimentation followed by weathering and perhaps erosion. One of these breaks is that at the top of the Permian redbeds, where the upper part of the sequence seemingly has been leached as in a weathered zone. The other interruption occurs at the top of the Cheyenne Sandstone, where seemingly the formation of montmorillonite-like clay at the expense of illite suggests erosion and weathering prior to deposition of the Kiowa Shale. An interruption in sedimentation is indicated at the Omadi-Graneros contact; lithology changes from predominantly sandstone (Omadi Formation) to mainly shale (Graneros Shale); clay-mineral composition of interbedded shales in the Omadi Formation is different from clay-mineral composition of the Graneros Shale.

Paleontology—It is unfortunate that none of the fossils found in the Dakota core are diagnostic, index forms. Because the organisms range through the Cretaceous, and even farther than that, they offer no information useful for placement of the Comanchean-Gulfian boundary, which falls somewhere between the Kiowa and Graneros Shales.

Environment of deposition—Seemingly a larger proportion of the Dakota Group is marine in northwestern Kansas than on the outcrop farther east and south. The Graneros and Kiowa Shales are marine in the subsurface as on the outcrop. The Graneros Shale in the No. 1 Beaumeister contains not only invertebrate fossils (foraminifers, pelecypods, and cephalopods) but an abundance of fish teeth and scales. Spores also are present, but they probably were transported to the sea from relatively nearby land areas. The Kiowa Shale contains fish scales, in addition to brachiopods, pelecypods, and foraminifers.

In south-central Kansas the Cheyenne Sandstone, judged to be of nonmarine origin deposited on or near the strand line of a northward-advancing sea, contains abundant fossil land plants (Latta, 1946, p. 238, 241). In the No. 1 Beaumeister well the present of Valvulineria, pelecypods, illite, and glauconite would seem to indicate that in northwestern Kansas at least part of this formation is marine.

No fossils were found in either the Gurley or Huntsman members of the Omadi Formation. Pelecypods, brachiopods, and fish teeth and scales indicate that the Cruise member was deposited at least in part under marine conditions. Illitic clay is generally believed to be formed (or preserved) under marine conditions; hence its relative abundance in the Omadi Formation seemingly would indicate that at least some of these beds are marine. Glauconite, found in the sandstones, is thought to be formed under marine conditions. Spores in the Cruise member probably were transported from adjacent land areas. Although fossil assemblages, abundance of illite, and presence of glauconite and collophane indicate that most beds of the Omadi Formation in the No. 1 Beaumeister well were deposited mainly in marine and perhaps brackish-water environments, it also is possible that some of the rocks may have been deposited under nonmarine conditions. In contrast, the outcropping Dakota rocks are judged to be nonmarine on the basis of the clay mineralogy and the absence of marine fossils (Plummer and Romary, 1947).

Economic possibilities—A study of the No. 1 Beaumeister well has revealed that Cretaceous rocks in this area are chiefly marine. For the most part the Omadi Formation is a good reservoir rock, as indicated by the extremely high porosity and permeability encountered by the No. 1 Beaumeister well. Although core analyses indicate much water in the Omadi Formation in the well, some oil was noted. The Graneros Shale, as well as the shale in the Omadi itself, affords good cover rock. Structural and stratigraphic conditions seemingly are favorable for the accumulation of oil. Although the Omadi beds occupy a geological setting similar to that of beds that produce commercial quantites of petroleum farther west in Colorado, nevertheless this similarity provides no assurance that commercial quantites of petroleum are present in the Cretaceous rocks of Kansas.

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Kansas Geological Survey, Geology
Placed on web July 27, 2017; originally published April 15, 1959.
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