Datapages, Inc.Print this page

Geology and Development History of Jennings Salt Dome 1901-1985: Clue to Future of Gulf Coast Salt Domes

J. Carlton Cook, Frank W. Harrison, Jr.

Historically, salt domes have been the primary target of oil and gas exploration in the Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast. In south Louisiana, the 89 piercement salt dome fields discovered since 1901 have produced 6,492,462,685 bbl of oil and condensate, representing approximately 60% of all oil and condensate produced in south Louisiana.

Because of the tremendous volume of oil already extracted, there may be doubt about finding significant reserves on these features in the future. A current review of Jennings salt dome, the first Louisiana oil field, however, suggests that south Louisiana piercement domes still have large undiscovered reserves.

Jennings dome, which has produced continuously since its discovery in 1901, has produced, as of 1985, 115 million bbl of oil and condensate. Its long and active exploration history is representative of many piercement domes in south Louisiana. A combination of characteristics explain why Jennings, as well as other domes, continues to be the focus of major exploration efforts. Piercement salt domes are generally complex both stratigraphically and structurally because of their geologic origin. Prolific high-angle faulting coupled with depositional unconformities and rapid stratigraphic changes make it difficult to determine accurately the precise nature and extent of existing hydrocarbon traps. Additionally, the occurrence of multiple sand reservoirs and outstanding recovery rates of oi in place result in areally small reservoirs that contain substantial reserves.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91043©1986 AAPG Annual Convention, Atlanta, Georgia, June 15-18, 1986.