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Paleogeography and Depositional Geometries of the Pennsylvanian/Upper Carboniferous Succession of the Greater Permian Basin Region, Texas and New Mexico


Wright, Wayne R.1 (1) Bureau of Economic Geology-John A. and Katherine G. Jackson School of Geosciences-The University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX


The Permian Basin of west Texas and New Mexico is the largest petroleum-producing basin in the U.S.A., with cumulative oil production of 28.9 Bbbl (c. 2000). Over 10% of that production has come from the Pennsylvanian succession, which is the most geologically complex interval in the basin and therefore offers some of the greatest hydrocarbon-resource development potential in the region. The Permian Basin is situated on a tectonically complicated region containing the remnants of fabrics and features associated with the Grenville orogeny. On this template, multiple episodes of Paleozoic faulting, uplift, and erosion occurred, including those related to the Ouachita orogenic event. Crucial to any Previous HitinterpretationNext Hit, Pennsylvanian sediments were also deposited during initial to peak icehouse climatic conditions. This study integrates outcrop, drill-core, geophysical, wireline-log, biostratigraphic, reservoir-quality, and gravity data in a unified sequence Previous HitstratigraphicNext Hit framework. New facies distribution and paleogeographic maps for the Morrowan, Atokan, Desmoinesian, Missourian, and Virgilian Series of the Permian Basin are presented. Results of this work include new depositional and sequence Previous HitstratigraphicTop models regarding distribution of the Pennsylvanian sediments and their sources, insights into tectonic control on both facies distribution and overall development of the basin and its subbasins (Delaware, Midland, and Val Verde), and identification of several potential new play types and exploration targets. The data and interpretations presented are part of a much larger, ongoing project, which is producing a detailed and comprehensive depositional and reservoir-systems history of the entire Paleozoic Era in the Permian Basin.


AAPG Search and Discover Article #90063©2007 AAPG Annual Convention, Long Beach, California