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In January, 1991, Santa Fe Energy Resources conventionally cored 660 ft (201 m) of the upper Miocene Spellacy sandstone in well 495-17, located in section 17, T32S, R32E, Midway-Sunset field, Kern County, California (Fig. 1). Section 17 is a Santa Fe Energy fee property that has produced heavy oil (10-14° API) since 1906, and currently has approximately 165 active wells producing an average of about 7 barrels of oil per day (BOPD). Since the mid-1960’s, thermal enhanced oil recovery (TEOR) methods have been used on this property in the form of cyclic steam to increase the production of the high-viscosity crude oil (1,200-10,000 cp at 90°F (32°C)). Well 495-17 was cored to document the basic reservoir characteristics for a four-pattern steamflood pilot, which began operation in 1991.

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