COBURN, M. G., Texaco E & P, Bakersfield, CA
ABSTRACT: Kern River Field: A Century of Uniqueness
Kern River field, since its discovery in 1899 from a hand-drilled well, has had a history of geologic and engineering uniqueness. From the estimated 4 billion bbl of original oil in place, experts estimate that 2 billion bbl will be recovered from this supergiant oil field. The uniqueness of Kern River can be traced from its early boom days of the 1900s through dewatering
projects in the late 1940s, to the development of cyclic and continuous steam-drive operations in the 1960s. Today, Kern River is a leader in the production of electricity from cogeneration facilities throughout the field. Geologically, Kern River is the only billion barrel oil field located in the relatively tectonically passive east side of the San Joaquin Valley. The field is complex series of fluvial stream deposits, altered by minor faults, where the oil is trapped by hydrodynamic forces interacting at the water table. The uniqueness of the combination of geologic and hydrodynamic factors will lead to future innovation as the field approaches its second century.
AAPG Search and
Discovery Article #90992©1993 AAPG Pacific Section Meeting, Long Beach,
California, May 5-7, 1993.