Permo-Triassic Reservoirs of Prudhoe Bay Field, North Slope, Alaska1
Production from the Prudhoe Bay field, which contains the largest single accumulation of oil ever discovered in North America, is expected to commence in 1977. Recent approval of the construction of an oil pipeline from Prudhoe Bay to Valdez has resulted in a marked increase in both drilling and construction activity in the field area. Already over 100 wells have been drilled as a result of almost 7 years of operation, and considerable subsurface data on the Permo-Triassic formations are now available. On the basis of these data, this paper describes geological and petrophysical aspects of the main Prudhoe Bay reservoirs.
Three reservoirs are contained within the Permo-Triassic. These are, in descending order, the Sag River Formation, the Shublik Formation, and the Ivishak Sandstone. The Ivishak Sandstone reservoir of the Sadlerochit Group contains most of the field's hydrocarbons.
Observations of the distribution of gas, oil, and water in the field have led to hypotheses regarding the origin and distribution of the hydrocarbons.
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With three previous volumes published by AAPG on structure of American oil fields, this publication takes 17 of these oil fields and describes them in detail. The reservoirs described in these 17 papers range in age from Devonian to Pleistocene; their litholgies are standstone, limestone, or dolomite; and the trapping mechanisms are structural or stratigraphic or a combination of the two. The North American oil fields described are distributed from Alaska and the McKenzie Delta area of Canada on the northwest, to the Gulf of Mexico and Southern Floriday on the southeast. This publication also includes an index to those North American oil and gas fields which have been described in previous AAPG publications.