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Nature, Distribution, and Petroleum Potential of Bone Spring Carbonate Detrital Sediments Along North Shelf of Delaware Basin, Lea County, New Mexico

Ted F. Gawloski

The Bone Spring formation consists of Permian-Leonardian rocks that are the slope-to-basin equivalent of the Abo-Yeso shelf sediments of the Northern Delaware basin. The formation is composed of three carbonate units commonly referred to as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bone Spring carbonates, which are separated by three clastic units, commonly referred to as the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Bone Spring sands. The principal reservoirs in the Bone Spring formation are in the porous carbonate detrital zones of the 2nd and 3rd carbonates. Most of the production occurs within a 5 to 10-mi wide fairway, just basinward of the Abo-Yeso shelf edge, where many carbonate detrital zones have been dolomitized and exhibit excellent secondary porosity development. They were deposited as allochthonous de ris sediments along the shelf slope by slumping, debris flows, and turbidity currents, and may extend several miles into the basin. Traps are principally stratigraphic, with numerous updip pinch-outs of the various detrital lenses. Many traps are diagenetic, with porous dolomite lenses changing laterally to nonporous limestone lenses. The exploration strategy and concepts of the Bone Spring play can be extended to many other regions in the Permian basin and may be used as a model in exploring for similar shelf-edge carbonate detrital reservoirs.

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