Depositional and diagenetic controls on the reservoir quality of Early Miocene syn-rift deep-marine sandstones, NW Saudi Arabia

Muhammad Naveed Butt, Stephen G. Franks, Arif Hussain, Abduljamiu Olalekan Amao, Abdulwahab Muhammad Bello, Khalid Al-Ramadan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Understanding the distribution of sedimentary facies, their texture and diagenetic alterations in deep-marine rift systems are critical for improved reservoir quality predictions in the subsurface. Syn-rift deep-marine sandstones of the Miocene Burqan Formation, deposited by various sediment gravity flow types in the Midyan Basin (Red Sea, Saudi Arabia) are characterized using detailed sedimentological and petrographic analyses. Six distinctive lithofacies (F1-F6) have been identified within the Burqan Formation and grouped into three broad facies associations namely proximal, medial, and distal facies of a submarine fan. The proximal fan facies consists of disorganized conglomerate (F1) and structureless sandstone (F2). The medial fan facies are represented by graded bedded and channelized sandstone (F3) and sandstone dominated heterolithics (F4). Deposits of distal fan facies consist of mudstone dominated heterolithics (F5) and structureless mudstone (F6). The sandstones are predominantly arkoses and lithic arkoses with a low degree of diagenetic modification (Eo- and Telo-diagenesis; ≤ 2 km and ≤ 70 °C temperature) and low to moderate volumes of carbonate cement (mean = 7%). The structureless sandstone (F2), sandstone dominated heterolithics (F4) and mudstone dominated heterolithics (F5) have poor reservoir quality due to the presence of authigenic cement and matrix. Graded bedded and channelized sandstone (F3) lithofacies consists of excellent reservoir sandstone due to the least proportion of cement and virtual absence of detrital clay. The observed variability in composition and textural parameters within Burqan Formation indicates that sedimentological transport processes control the depositional reservoir quality which in turn dictates diagenetic modification in deep-marine sandstones with important implications for prediction of reservoir quality in deep-marine systems.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105880
JournalJournal of Asian Earth Sciences
StatePublished - Jan 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd


  • Midyan Basin, Saudi Arabia
  • Rift System
  • Sediment gravity-flow (SGF) deposits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes


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