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Update on the Cane Creek Fractured Shale Play, Northern Paradox Basin, Grand County, Utah

Grummon, Mark L.
Samson Resources, Denver, CO

     Recent drilling in the northern Paradox basin has re-energized the Cane Creek Shale play. After the initial 1990's horizontal drilling campaign collapsed, several companies attempted to extend the same play concept farther south, while various others tried to establish resource type shale plays in the Paradox Salt throughout the basin.
     Organic rich source rocks interbedded with modest reservoir quality sandstones and carbonates comprise a typical Paradox Salt clastic break. The Cane Creek is the thickest and best developed of these, but is not otherwise unique. Salt both above and below clastic breaks provides critical sealing capacity that preserves over-pressure generated during hydrocarbon maturation. Commercial production requires well bore communication with un-mineralized open natural fractures. Matrix porosity adds significantly to reservoir storage capacity. Many dry holes, both vertical and horizontal, can be ascribed to seal failure or the absence of open natural fractures.
     Horizontal wells targeting fractured Cane Creek shale met with spotty success. Two fracture-stimulated vertical wells were commercial failures. Current operators' press releases provide evidence that the Paradox Shale play extends over a large portion of the northern Paradox basin. One company has begun using multistage frac treatments on 1,000-ft thick gross clastic reservoir intervals spread over 12 clastic intervals in vertical wells. Preliminary results indicate potential for combined flow rates from 4 to 12 MMCFGD and 500 BCPD.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90071 © 2007 AAPG Rocky Mountain Meeting, Snowbird, Utah