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Abstract: Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic Oil Reservoirs of the Updip Basement Structure Play: Southwest Alabama

Robert M. Mink, Ernest A. Mancini

Exploration for Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic reservoirs associated with updip basement structures currently is the most active exploratory oil play in Alabama. High initial flow rates, on the order of hundreds to thousands of barrels of oil per day, are commonly encountered at depths between 8,200 and 14,500 feet. Fifty-one fields have been established and 25 million barrels of oil have been produced from these fields developed in Lower Cretaceous Hosston and Upper Jurassic Haynesville, Smackover, and Norphlet reservoirs. Production from Smackover carbonates began at Toxey field in 1967 and from Haynesville sandstones at Frisco City field in 1986. As of September 1994, Smackover wells averaged 88 barrels of oil per day and Haynesville wells averaged 284 barrels of il per day. In 1994, production was established in the Norphlet at North Excel field and in the Hosston at Pleasant Home field. Reservoirs in the updip basement structure play cluster in three distinct areas; (1) a western area on the Choctaw ridge complex, (2) a central area on the Conecuh ridge complex, and (3) an eastern area in the Conecuh embayment. Reservoir lithologies include Smackover limestones and dolostones and Hosston, Haynesville, Smackover, and Norphlet sandstones. Hydrocarbon traps are structural or combination traps where reservoirs occur on the flanks or over the crests of basement paleohighs. An understanding of the complex reservoir properties and trap relationships is the key to successful discovery and development of Lower Cretaceous and Upper Jurassic oil reservoir of the updip basement structure play of southwest Alabama.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90955©1995 GCAGS 45th Annual Meeting and Gulf Section SEPM, Baton Rouge, Louisiana