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Economic Significance of Fluvial Sandstones within the Fruitland Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico

Dyer, Kuwanna1, James Perkins1 (1) BP America Production Company, Houston, TX


Fluvial sandstone beds are intercalated within the prolific Fruitland Formation coal intervals in the western portion of the San Juan Basin, New Mexico. These sandstone intervals are often disregarded as primary or even secondary completion targets, particularly in the Type I and Type II coal areas that dominate the coal trend. Within the Type III coal areas in the southwestern part of the basin, however, where productivity from the coal interval is lower, these sandstones can be an important resource. Subsurface mapping within the BP-operated Gallegos Canyon Unit (GCU) shows significant down cutting into the thinly-bedded, coaly intervals, juxtaposing the porous (6 - 22%) and permeable sandstones with the coal source beds. Production for these shallow wells, which are less than 1200 feet in depth, ranges from 0.001 to 1.7 BCFG. Total cumulative production from 50 completions is 18 BCFG. Subsurface maps are compared to outcrops within the Bisti area, which is 25 miles south of GCU, and these provide clear examples of the down cutting and aerial distribution of reservoir-quality sandstones. The next step in realizing the economic potential of the Fruitland sandstone involves expanding the subsurface map downdip further into the basin, carefully identifying and mapping prominent sandstone bodies. Assuming an average recovery of 0.25 BCF/well, the impact of the Fruitland sandstone completion program could be in excess of 100 BCFG.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90055©2006 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Billings, Montana