The Shell Oil ‘Vilche’ deep test and a better understanding of the Pine Creek Fault, northern Sacramento Basin: what a difference one micropaleontolgy report makes!
The Shell Oil ‘Vilche’ well was drilled to a total depth of 19,670′ in 1980. It is by far the deepest well ever drilled in the Sacramento Basin, even though the deep dry hole is located in the far northern portion of the basin and lies north of any natural gas production. Recent remapping of this part of the basin making use of a micropaleontology report on the well has caused a significant change in the understanding of this part of the basin. This data, along with data from a 15 well drilling program by Hamar Associates and the Nahabedian Exploration Group between 1998 and 2006 shows that the Pine Creek Fault has a much larger offset than was previously thought. The data also shows that a thick section of Upper Cretaceous strata was preserved in a ‘sub-basin’ on the northern side of the fault.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90266 © 2016 AAPG Pacific Section and Rocky Mountain Section Joint Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada, October 2-5, 2016