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Hydrocarbon Potential of the 87 Blocks Identified for Consideration for Future OCS Leasing Offshore California

ALTOBELLI, RANDALL W., ELAINE G. A. WEED, and CRAIG K. OGAWA, Department of the Interior-Minerals Management Service, Los Angeles, CA

The Department of the Interior has identified 87 blocks in the Pacific OCS for consideration for future leasing in 1996 after further studies have been completed. These blocks are located off the southern California coast in the offshore Santa Maria basin and the Santa Barbara Channel, where there is prolific oil and gas production. Fields in the offshore Santa Maria basin and Santa Barbara Channel, such as the Hondo bield and the potential giant Point Arguello bield, characterize the potential for significant additional undiscovered hydrocarbon resources that may still exist in these areas.

Geologic trends that have proven productive within these areas can be projected into many of the 87 blocks being considered for future leasing. Exploration drilling has identified approximately 37 fields and potential fields in this part of the OCS and an additional 18 existing, abandoned, and potential fields in adjacent state waters. Multiple zone productive reservoirs are present in many of the offshore Santa Maria Basin and Santa Barbara Channel fields and similar potential reservoirs are anticipated to be encountered in the 87 blocks. Existing oil and gas production comes from reservoirs within formations ranging from Cretaceous to Pliocene in age.

The hydrocarbon potential on the 87 blocks identified for consideration for future oil and gas leasing by the Department of the Interior is considered to be significant. Leasing and development by industry could result in significant additional domestic oil and gas supplies.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91009©1991 AAPG-SEPM-SEG-SPWLA Pacific Section Annual Meeting, Bakersfield, California, March 6-8, 1991 (2009)