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Abstract: Is the Washita Valley Fault a Strike-Slip Fault or a Thrust Fault, and Who Cares?


The Washita Valley fault has been considered by many scholars to be a strike-slip fault with a left lateral movement of approximately 36 miles. A regional view of the sub-surface evidence, however, seems to indicate that the Washita Valley fault may be composed of one or more thrust faults. If this is true, then the sub-thrust zone beneath the Washita Valley fault may contain hidden structural traps in a very prolific oil producing environment.

The prolific nature of the sub-thrust objectives is demonstrated by the production history of two fields that are located on each end of the Washita Valley fault zone. The Eola Field is located on the west end, and the Cumberland Field is located on the east end of the fault zone. Each of these oil fields have now produced more than 800,000 barrels of oil per well.

Re-thinking the structural nature of the Washita Valley fault may lead to the discovery of several more prolific oil fields. A seventy-mile prospective trend located between two giant oil fields should get serious consideration from any visionary exploration geologist.

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