Sedimentology, geochemistry and reservoir potential of sandstones in the Silurian Akkas Formation, western Iraq

TitleSedimentology, geochemistry and reservoir potential of sandstones in the Silurian Akkas Formation, western Iraq
TypeJournal Article
Author(s)Al-Juboury, A.I., Howard, J.P., Nichols, G., Vincent, S.J., Manning, C. and Vautravers, B.P.H.
JournalJournal of Petroleum Geology
People Links Stephen Vincent Benoit Vautravers
Keywords Akkas Formation Iraq Akkas field Paleozoic Sandstone Geochemistry Petrography Reservoir potential Hirnantian glaciation Silurian


The source rock potential of “hot shales” in the Silurian Akkas Formation in Iraq has been investigated by numerous studies, but the reservoir potential of sandstone intervals in the formation has received less attention. This study investigates the sedimentology and geochemistry of sandstones from the Akkas Formation in the Akkas‐1, Akkas‐3 and KH5/6 wells in western Iraq. The composition of sandstone samples from the Akkas wells is similar; in general they are classified as sub‐litharenites, quartz‐arenites and sub‐arkoses. Scanning electron microscopic analysis identified extensive microporosity and good pore connectivity, suggesting that these sandstones have the potential to form hydrocarbon reservoirs. The sandstones from the KH5/6 well are more lithic‐rich than those from the Akkas wells and are classified as sub‐litharenites. They have larger, more connected pores and better reservoir potential. Low permeability shale intervals within the Akkas Formation and the conformably‐underlying Ordovician Khabour Formation form barriers to hydrocarbon migration into the Akkas and Khabour sandstones. Hydrocarbon migration from the Akkas “hot shales” in the Akkas field is therefore controlled by faulting and fracturing.
Petrographic and whole rock geochemical analyses showed that the composition of sandstones in the Akkas Formation is different from that of sandstones in the Khabour Formation. The chemical alteration index ranges from 77.39 to 87.06%, indicating intense weathering of the provenance area before sandstone deposition. The studied samples are texturally mature which indicates good potential for fluid storage capacity. A decrease in feldspar content in the Akkas Formation is attributed to possible recycling of sediments from the Khabour Formation into the Akkas Formation following the Hirnantian glaciation, or to longer distance transportation from the source area.