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Book Chapter

Future Oil and Gas Potential of Northeast Arizona

By
John R. Barwin
John R. Barwin
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Robert W. King
Robert W. King
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Charles A. Hassenfratz
Charles A. Hassenfratz
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Published:
January 01, 1971

Abstract

Northeastern Arizona, comprising Apache, Navajo, and Coconino Counties, has moderate to poor overall potential for future oil and gas reserves. Strati- graphic traps and a few undrilled anticlinal features will be important in future discoveries. Drilling depths are generally less than 8,000 ft (2,438 m). Leasing, accessibility, and markets may be problems in certain areas.

The Paradox basin of northern Apache County has the best oil potential in northeastern Arizona. Carbonate banks or reefs in the Pennsylvanian Hermosa Formation are particularly prospective. Oil accumulations in Mississippian and Devonian rocks are likely to be found in subtle stratigraphic traps because most of the obvious anticlines have been drilled. Traps completely filled with inert gas are detrimental to oil occurrence. Fields similar to Dineh-bi-Keyah, which produces from a Tertiary sill, may be difficult to find. The Permian in the southwestern Paradox basin offers only slight oil potential, and the Triassic and Jurassic rocks are not considered prospective. Leases can be obtained by competitive bid from the Navajo Indians.

The Black Mesa basin, centering in northern Navajo County, has been sparsely drilled and offers only moderate future oil potential. Past drilling has been disappointing, but a few oil shows and thin porosity zones have been found in the Devonian and Mississip- pian. The Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian are largely a redbed sequence with little potential. The Coconino Sandstone of Permian age is devoid of oil shows, producing only helium-bearing inert gas at Pinta Dome on the south. Undrilled anticlinal trends are present in the northern Black Mesa basin, and there are pre- Pennsylvanian truncation possibilities in the eastern and southern parts of the basin.

The small Holbrook basin, which centers in southern Navajo County, has some future oil potential. Wells have found porosity and a few shows in Permian, Pennsylvanian, Mississippian, and Devonian rocks.

The general Flagstaff area of southern Coconino County may have oil potential in Mississippian and Devonian rocks. Oil shows are present along the Mogollon Rim outcrop and in several wells.

The Preston Bench—Kaibito Saddle area of northeastern Coconino and northern Navajo Counties could have potential in the pre-Pennsylvanian, but good prospects will be difficult to find. The crests of the Defiance and Kaibab uplifts are not considered prospective.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Future Petroleum Provinces of the United States—Their Geology and Potential, Volumes 1 & 2

Ira H. Cram
Ira H. Cram
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
15
ISBN electronic:
9781629812236
Publication date:
January 01, 1971

GeoRef

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