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A Potential Geopressured, Geothermal Area in Southwest Louisiana

Warren Schulingkamp, Chacko J. John, Brian Harder, and Reed Bourgeois
Louisiana Geological Survey – Louisiana State University, 3079 Energy, Coast and Environment Bldg., Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70803–0001

The need for alternative forms of energy has led to the search for geothermal resources in areas not usually considered prospective of such. One example is in southwest Louisiana, where Oligocene (Miogypsinoides A zone of Paleo-Data, Inc.) (Paleo-Data, Inc., 2010) sands at depths exceeding 14,000 ft (4300 m) are geopressured and have recorded bottom hole temperatures as recorded on electric logs over 300°F (149°C). The prospective area is located in T. 12 S., R. 7 and 8 W., Cameron Parish, Louisiana, approximately 15 mi (24 km) south of the city of Lake Charles.

The geothermal and geopressured nature of these sands is demonstrated by two relatively recently drilled wells. In 1980 Magma Gulf and Techndrill, under a contract with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), drilled the Magma Gulf–Technadrill–DOE Amoco Fee No. 1 (Louisiana Department of Natural Resources Serial Number [S/N] 167759), hereinafter referred to as the DOE well, in Section 17, T. 12 S., R. 8 W. It encountered 318 ft (97 m) of net sand in the Miogypsinoides A zone at depths exceeding 15,000 ft (4600 m). These sands are water bearing. The age of these sands was confirmed by correlation with several other wells in the area for which paleontology reports were obtained from Paleo-Data, Inc. The bottom-hole temperature recorded on the Schlumberger Induction-SFL log of the DOE well was 303°F (151°C). The sands have a reported porosity of 12.0–19.0%. (John et al., 1998). The DOE well was tested from various sands in this zone and at various rates from June 1981 to December 1983, before finally being plugged and abandoned in September 1984. A summary description of the DOE well and its testing is found in the report by John et al. (1998a). A complete bibliography of geothermal work in the Louisiana Gulf Coast to 1998 can be found in John et al., (1998b). In 1994, Flores and Rucks, Inc. drilled their William B. Hebert Estate No. 1 well (S/N 216999), in Section 17, T. 12 S., R. 7 W. (Flores and Rucks well), approximately 2 mi (3km) southeast of the DOE well. This well encountered over 260 ft (80 m) of water-bearing net sand in the Miogypsinoides A zone. The bottom-hole temperature recorded on the Schlumberger Induction-SFL log of the Flores and Rucks well was 303° F (151°C). See Figure 2 for locations of these wells.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90158©2012 GCAGS and GC-SEPM 6nd Annual Convention, Austin, Texas, 21-24 October 2012