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Sockeye Field, Southeastern Santa Barbara Channel, California: History, Geology, and Development Plans

Phil J. Rarey

The Sockeye field, located approximately 12 mi southwest of Ventura, California, was discovered in 1970 by an Exxon-Chevron joint venture (OCS-P0205 1). Subsequent exploratory drilling from 1971 through 1983 delineated the field within portions of OCS leases 204, 205, 208, and 209. These leases were acquired jointly by Chevron (50%) and Exxon (50%) in February 1968. Chevron acquired 100% interest in the acreage encompassing the Sockeye structure in 1979 when Exxon went non-consent after drilling OCS-P0205 2. After considerable permitting delays, the jacket for Chevron's 36-slot Platform Gail was set in 739 ft of water on April 5, 1987.

Interpretation of three-dimensional seismic and exploratory well data shows the Sockeye structure to consist of a northwest-southeast-trending doubly plunging anticline. The southwest flank of the field is bounded by a complex series of northwest-trending strike-slip faults (South Sockeye fault system), whereas the northeast flank is bounded by a west-northwest-trending high-angle reverse fault.

Producing strata are fractured deep-marine siliceous shales, porcelanites, and dolomites of the Miocene Monterey Formation (± 17° API); deep-marine sandstones of the Miocene upper Topanga Formation (± 18° API); transgressive nearshore sands of the Miocene lower Topanga Formation (± 27° API), and fluvial sandstones of the Oligocene Sespe Formation (± 27° API).

Because of the presence of two distinct oils in two distinct types of reservoir at Sockeye, the first few wells will be designed to evaluate the potential and characteristics of the various reservoirs. Subsequent well programs will be designed to recover Sockeye reserves as effectively as possible.

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