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Relationships of Oil Composition and Stratigraphy in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico1

By
Theodore S. Jones
Theodore S. Jones
Midland, Texas, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Harold M. Smith
Harold M. Smith
Midland, Texas, and Bartlesville, Oklahoma
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Published:
January 01, 1965

Abstract

Analyses of 310 crude oils from formations ranging in age from Cambrian to Cretaceous were studied to correlate the geologic occurrence of these oils with such characteristics as composition by hydrocarbon type (aromatics, naphthenes, and paraffins), content of gasoline and gas oil (determined by distillation and refractometric methods), distillate yield and residuum, sulfur and nitrogen contents, and cloud points.

Five general categories, based on likenesses that may indicate a similar history, include most of the oils, but smaller groupings are also discussed. Average values for each of the categories are given below.

Category S N N/S VA VN VP VD Wax Content 
0.16* 0.032 0.20 5.5 7.5 87.0* 84 Medium 
II 0.35* .059 .17 8.7 30.3* 61.0 79 High 
III 1.77* .10 .057 19.3* 31.4 49.3 73* High 
IV 0.16* .125 .78* 6.5 45.6 47.9 76 High 
1.19* .140 .12 6.2* 63.1* 30.7* 63 Low* 
Category S N N/S VA VN VP VD Wax Content 
0.16* 0.032 0.20 5.5 7.5 87.0* 84 Medium 
II 0.35* .059 .17 8.7 30.3* 61.0 79 High 
III 1.77* .10 .057 19.3* 31.4 49.3 73* High 
IV 0.16* .125 .78* 6.5 45.6 47.9 76 High 
1.19* .140 .12 6.2* 63.1* 30.7* 63 Low* 

S and N refer to weight-per cent sulfur and nitrogen; Va, Vn, and Vp to volume-per cent of aromatics, naphthenes, and paraffins in the gasoline; Vd to volume-per cent total distillate.

* Items of particular interest.

Category I (Ellenburger and Simpson oils).—The Simpson shale is considered as a likely source.

Category II (a few Ellenburger and Simpson oils, Fusselman, Devonian, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, Wolfcamp, a few Yeso oils).—Probable sources are dark basinal shales of Woodford, Mississippian, Pennsylvanian, and Wolfcamp age, commonly associated with unconformities.

Category III (Yeso and San Andres oils).—These occur commonly now on the Northwest and Eastern shelves where sulfate content is high.

Category IV (Spraberry, Delaware Mountain, some Wolfcamp and Yeso oils).—These are relatively unaltered oils, associated with or derived from basinal shales.

Category V (San Andres, Grayburg, Queen, Seven Rivers, Yates, Rustler, Castile, Cretaceous oils).

—These oils appear altered. Reaction with sulfur, fresh water leaching of volatile aromatics, and microbial oxidation of wax are suggested as reasons for the alteration.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Fluids in Subsurface Environments

Addison Young
Addison Young
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John E. Galley
John E. Galley
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
4
ISBN electronic:
9781629812335
Publication date:
January 01, 1965

GeoRef

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