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Stratigraphy and Depositional History, Bone Spring Formation, Lea County, New Mexico

Louis J. Mazzullo

The Bone Spring formation of the northern Delaware basin in southeastern New Mexico produces oil in Lea County from foreshelf detrital carbonate facies, such as in Scharb field. Production there comes from several intervals. Stratigraphic correlations between the various Bone Spring units and equivalent Leonardian facies of the Northwest shelf in Lea County suggest that the Bone Spring is correlative to the Yeso Formation of the Northwest shelf. The shelf facies there are divided into lower, middle, and upper Yeso. The upper part of what has generally been considered to be Wolfcamp in some areas, beneath the lowermost Bone Spring sandstone, is inferred to be lower Leonardian (lower Yeso) throughout the area studied.

A model is proposed for the sedimentologic and reservoir evolution of the Bone Spring formation in Lea County. Permian-Pennsylvanian tectonic activity provided the initial substrate for the development of a high-energy shelf edge in early Yeso time. In early middle Yeso time, the basin filled with sediments of the 3rd and 2nd Bone Spring units, and the shelf to basin transition was more subtle. As the basin subsided with infilling, a high-energy shelf edge again developed in late middle Yeso time. With continued basin infilling by 1st Bone Springs facies, the shelf to basin transition again evolved into a more subtle feature. Continued basin subsidence caused infilling by a thick sequence of upper Yeso carbonate, which was capped by progradational shelf carbonates of the upper Yeso.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91037©1987 AAPG Southwest Section, Dallas, Texas, March 22-24, 1987.