Abstract

Deep-water carbonate channel reservoirs form important oil reservoirs along the toe of the Eastern shelf of the Permian basin in west Texas. In northwestern Glasscock County, these-Wolfcamp-reservoirs are Leonardian (Early Permian) in age and define high-energy channels incised into surrounding carbonate detritus and basinal shale. Porous grain-flow material filling these channels, along with encasing detritus, was derived from the shallow shelf located six miles to the east. Reservoirs are in packstone and grainstone facies and have significant interparticle and moldic porosity. Relevant exploration began in the 1960s, but expanded slowly thereafter due to lack of success caused by complex patterns of channel occurrence. Results of a three-dimensional (3-D) seismic survey conducted in 1990 have greatly enhanced the identification and mapping of productive channels in the Powell Ranch field complex. Wells in this complex are capable of flowing 400-1200 bbl of oil per day, and have reserves ranging from 0.2 to 1.3 MBO. The new 3-D data have improved the relevant geologic model and dramatically increased rates of drilling success. Application of such data to this setting offers a potential model for other parts of the Permian basin.

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