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ABSTRACT

Exploration for hydrocarbons in Mississippian strata in Kansas and Oklahoma began in the 1900s. Early production came from open-hole completions in vertical wellbores at the apex of structural and stratigraphic traps. In the mid-20th century, cased-hole completions and hydraulic fracture stimulation allowed development of lower permeability zones. Recently operators began to explore and develop transition zones and low-permeability facies with horizontal drilling. The petroleum system that includes these accumulations consists of two hydrocarbon kitchens in the Arkoma and Anadarko basins, which have been generating oil and gas from the Woodford Shale since the beginning of the Pennsylvanian. Hydrocarbons charged out of the basins and along the fractured terrain of the Cherokee platform into reservoirs from Kinderhookian to Chesterian age across the carbonate facies belt. The distribution of these reservoirs, including limestones, dolomites, and cherts, along with structural configuration, governs the relative abundance and location of oil, gas, and water in each trap. The past decade saw over four thousand laterals targeting Mississippian reservoirs, including shales in unconventional traps, and the greatest rise in oil production in the region since the 1920s. High associated water volumes have created escalating operational costs and are correlative with earthquake activity.

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