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Geology of Tompkins Hill Gas Field, Humboldt County, California

Jonathan Parker

The Tompkins Hill gas field, located in Humboldt County, California, is the only producing field in the Eel River basin. The field is an anticlinal flexure on the north limb of the Eel River syncline in the central onshore portion of the basin. The Tompkins Hill anticline is doubly plunging and trends east-west. Stratigraphic units present in the field include the Yager, Eel River, and Rio Dell Formations and Scotia Bluffs Sandstone. The Yager occurs below a major unconformity, and forms economic basement. Strata overlying the Eel River, Rio Dell, and Scotia Bluffs represent a progradational basin-fill sequence, including submarine fan, slope, shelf, and littoral deposits. The primary productive interval in the field is within the middle of the Rio Dell and consists of in erbedded fine sandstone and mudrock. Portions of the Eel River and upper Rio Dell Formations are also productive.

The Tompkins Hill gas field was discovered by the Texas Company in 1937 with the drilling of Eureka 2 in Sec. 22, T3N, R1W. The play was probably based on outcrop mapping and the presence of gas seeps in the area. The primary trapping mechanism in the field is structural, although stratigraphy may have been a factor in constraining gas. To date, 39 producing wells have been drilled and 87.4 bcf of gas, consisting of 98% methane, has been produced. Very minor amounts of condensate are also produced. The source rocks for the gas are uncertain, but both the Yager Formation and strata of the lower Wildcat Group may have contributed.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91035©1988 AAPG-SEPM-SEG Pacific Sections and SPWLA Annual Convention, Santa Barbara, California, 17-19 April 1988.