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Hill, Ronald J.1, Daniel M. Jarvie2, Brenda L. Claxton3, Jack D. Burgess3, Mark H. Tobey3, Jack A. Williams4 
(1) U.S. Geological Survey, Denver, CO 
(2) Humble Geochemical Services, Humble, TX 
(3) Humble Instruments and Services, Humble, TX 
(4) Consultant, Tulsa, OK

ABSTRACT: Petroleum Systems of the Permian Basin, USA

The Permian Basin, located in western Texas and southeastern New Mexico, USA, is one of the most prolific petroleum provinces in North America. Despite the prolific hydrocarbon production, little information is available in the literature regarding petroleum systems of the Permian Basin. In this study bulk chemical data are supplemented with detailed geochemical analyses such as whole oil gas chromatography including light hydrocarbon parameters, biomarker parameters, and saturate and aromatic carbon isotope ratios to differentiate oil types in the Permian Basin. 
The Permian Basin is subdivided into the Delaware Basin, the northwest shelf, the Central Basin Platform, the Val Verde Basin, the Midland Basin and the Eastern Shelf. Hydrocarbons are produced from reservoirs of Cambrian through Cretaceous age, although most production is from Paleozoic reservoirs. Based on oil and source rock analyses, petroleum systems have been defined for the Ordovician Simpson, the Devonian/Mississippian Woodford Shale, the Mississippian Barnett Shale, the Permian Wolfcamp, two Permian Leonardian Bone Springs, and the Permian Guadalupian. There is strong evidence for a Pennsylvanian petroleum system although the specific source rock has not been identified. In addition to these distinct petroleum systems, it is also evident that mixing of oil types and biodegradation is widespread.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90026©2004 AAPG Annual Meeting, Dallas, Texas, April 18-21, 2004.