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Abstract: Hydrocarbon Occurrences Near Kyle Hot Springs, Buena Vista Valley, Pershing County, Nevada

William J. Ehni, Howard Mccarthy, William H. Neumann

Buena Vista Valley is a small Tertiary Basin located in Northwestern Nevada. Oil was discovered in a mineral exploration hole drilled by Independence Mining Company Inc. (IMC) during October, 1993 near Kyle Hot springs in Buena Vista Valley. The hole flowed unchecked for four and a half days, producing an estimated 500 barrels of oil with large volumes of hot water, before it was plugged and abandoned. In August of 1994 a continuous core hole was drilled by Barton/Evans to further evaluate the oil occurrences in the IMC hole. Two oil zones were found in the Barton/Evans hole, both of which have similar characteristics to the oil produced in the IMC hole. Pristane and phytane ratios (pr/ph) for oil samples from both holes are low (<0.1) which suggests that the source ro k for this oil is from nonmarine Lacustrine tertiary sediments. There are no detectable hydrocarbons in the gas emanating from Kyle Hot Springs which indicates that the current day geothermal system is not in direct contact with any oil accumulations. Organic rich Triassic marine rocks which outcrop west of Buena Vista Valley, are over mature which supports the hypothesis that unexposed organic rich tertiary rocks occurring in the deeper portions of the basin acted as the source for the oil occurrences in the IMC hole and in the Barton/Evans hole. In 1974, Standard Oil drilled an 11,000 foot well south of Buena Vista Valley in the Carson Sink and encountered organic rich Tertiary sediments at about 3500'. If this organic rich unit extends north into Buena Vista Valley, local geothermal a omalies might play an important role in the generation of oil. Earlier researches have reported that such anomalies do exist with temperature gradients approaching 100 degrees C per kilometer west of Kyle Hot Springs in an area where gravity data suggest a relatively thick interval of tertiary rocks have accumulated.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90959©1995 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Reno, Nevada