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Oil and Gas Exploration in Honey Lake Basin, Lassen County, California

Scott T. Hector1, Jerome P. Walker2, and Samuel H. Limerick3
1Paul Graham Drilling, Rio Vista, CA.
2Consulting Geologist, Reno, NV
3Z Inc., Reno, NV

Honey Lake Basin is an intermontane basin located in northeastern California. The Basin is located at the intersection of the Sierra Nevada and Basin and Range provinces. This structurally low area has received Pleistocene, Pliocene and possibly Miocene sediments from granitic and volcanic rocks on the west in the Diamond Mountains, from volcanic rocks to the northeast and east in the Skedaddle volcanic center, and from granitic rocks to the south off the Fort Sage Mountains. Nine wildcat wells have been drilled in the Basin, and several were reportedly completed as natural gas wells. Some wells also had oil shows. However, no wells have produced commercial quantities of hydrocarbons. Serious questions concerning the economic viability for petroleum exploration in the Basin remain. What is the age of the oldest sediments in the Basin? Is the basin deep enough to generate hydrocarbons? Is there a sufficient volume of source rock in the thermogenic window to generate economic reserves? Are all natural gas shows of biogenic origin, or has thermogenic gas been generated? Finally, has heat from volcanic or hydrothermal activity generated hydrocarbons?


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90076©2008 AAPG Pacific Section, Bakersfield, California