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Habitat of Oil in Eastern Gulf Coast1

Jules Braunstein
Jules Braunstein
New Orleans, Louisiana
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January 01, 1958


The eastern Gulf Coast, comprising the states of Mississippi and Florida and those portions of Alabama and Georgia not included in the Appalachian Mountains and the Piedmont Plateau, covers about 166,000 square miles.

About 95,000 cubic miles of Paleozoic sediments are included in this area, occupying two widely separated basins. The better known of these is the Black Warrior basin, of northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama, in which the first hydrocarbon production of both these states was found. The other, herein named the "Suwannee River basin," lies in southern Georgia, southeastern Alabama, and northern Florida. It is nonproductive.

The most important basin within the eastern Gulf Coast from the standpoint of oil production is the Mississippi salt basin, which is continuous with a similar basin in Louisiana on the west, and extends into Alabama on the east. Minor production has been obtained from four of the 49 shallow salt domes proven by drilling in this basin. The major production from Mesozoic reservoirs in the province is derived from salt-uplifted structures which flank the salt basin on the north and south.

Important Tertiary (Eocene Wilcox) production is largely confined to four counties in southwestern Mississippi. It is obtained principally from structurally modified stratigraphic traps.

Southern Florida, since early Cretaceous time at least, has been a shallow platform area characterized by carbonate and evaporite deposition with no important noncarbonate clastics. Two fields have been discovered to date, producing from a highly organic limestone of Lower Cretaceous, Glen Rose age.

The present northeastern boundary of rich Miocene production in South Louisiana and the Louisiana tidelands is approximately coincident with the 10,000-foot isopach of Miocene sediments. Present information, which indicates rapid thinning of the Miocene and its gradation to a carbonate facies east and northeast of this line, suggests objectives for exploration in the Mississippi-Alabama-Florida coastal and offshore areas will be in sediments other than Miocene, on structures other than salt domes.

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AAPG Special Publication

Habitat of Oil

Lewis G. Weeks
Lewis G. Weeks
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
ISBN electronic:
Publication date:
January 01, 1958




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