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Abstract: Remote Sensing Search and Prediction of Undeveloped Oil Production in the Panhandle Field, Texas


The Panhandle Field is a well-known major oil field with an extensive gas cap. The bottom of the oil field is not bound by a water contact, but by loss of reservoir quality strata. The ancient granite exposure of the buried Amarillo Uplift is generally considered to be the bottom of the Panhandle Field.

Upon the eroded granite topography are pockets of oil productive Granite Wash to be found and produced.

Remote sensing, surface studies, and subsurface geology can be combined to visualize the historical erosion surface. Ten plus separate remote or subsurface indicators were studied at all points of the Panhandle Field to generate a map of structural features when eight or more indicators collaborated a legitimate feature. Existing subsurface geology from wellbores confirm that Pennsylvanian age structural features did control reservoir creation in much of the Permian strata.

Once the controlling structural factors are understood and mapped, the probable reservoir deposition may be forecast. Many of these Granite Wash deposition sites as found directly upon the ancient granite surface were found during drilling the 75 year old field. It is through the use of multilayered remote sensing techniques that new productive strata may yet be developed.

An example of this type of new find was demonstrated in the late 1980's when newly drilled wells were demonstrating 100+ BPD initial production rates. This discovery, when directly compared with the remote sensing data, demonstrates the validity of the above research. This research would be usable to explore for additional undeveloped production inside what would appear to be a fully mature oil field.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90944©1997 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma