Abstract

New exploration in the Permian (Leonardian) Bone Spring formation has indicated regional potential in several sandstone sections across portions of the northern Delaware basin. Significant production has been established in the first, second, and third Bone Spring sandstones, as well as in a new reservoir interval, the Avalon sandstone, above the first Bone Spring sandstone. These sandstones were deposited as submarine-fan systems within the northern Delaware basin during periods of lowered sea level. The Bone Spring as a whole consists of alternating carbonate and siliciclastic intervals representing the downdip equivalents to thick Abo-Yeso/Wichita-Clear Fork carbonate buildups along the Leonardian shelf margin. Hydrocarbon exploration in the Bone Spring has traditionally focused on debris-flow carbonate deposits restricted to the paleoslope. Submarine-fan systems, in contrast, extend a considerable distance basinward of these deposits and have been recently proven productive as much as 40-48 km south of the carbonate trend.

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