Regional sand distribution of the Frio Formation, South Texas - A preliminary step in prospecting for Geothermal Energy

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Many prospective oil wells have penetrated the geopressured zone in Tertiary sediments along the Texas Gulf Coast. However, because few oil or gas wells produce from this area, the regional sand distribution within these zones is not well known. Limited data indicate that the pore spaces within the sand in the geopressured zone are filled with water that has a high temperature and a relatively low dissolved-solids content and that is saturated with methane gas. This water is believed to be an important source of thermal energy and methane gas. For more information concerning the origin of the geopressured zone ... continued below

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Bebout, D. G.; Agagu, O. K. & Dorfman, M. H. January 1, 1975.

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Many prospective oil wells have penetrated the geopressured zone in Tertiary sediments along the Texas Gulf Coast. However, because few oil or gas wells produce from this area, the regional sand distribution within these zones is not well known. Limited data indicate that the pore spaces within the sand in the geopressured zone are filled with water that has a high temperature and a relatively low dissolved-solids content and that is saturated with methane gas. This water is believed to be an important source of thermal energy and methane gas. For more information concerning the origin of the geopressured zone see Dorfman and Kehle (1974) and Jones (1970). The first step in appraising the Gulf Coast geothermal resources entails a detailed geologic study of the main sand trends. Of these, the Frio and Wilcox formations appear to be the thickest (fig. 1). This report deals largely with the Frio formation. The Wilcox formation has been studied by Fisher and McGowen (1967). Other parts of the Tertiary that have been studied in detail are the Queen City formation (Claiborne), which was reported on by Guevara and Garcia (1972), and the Jackson formation, reported on by Fisher and others (1970). The United States Atomic Energy Commission, through the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and the Center for Energy Studies, The University of Texas at Austin, supported this preliminary study of the geothermal resources of the Frio sands in South Texas. The South Texas area (immediately north of Corpus Christi and south to the Rio Grande, fig. 2) was selected because the geopressured zone is known to occur there at relatively shallow depths (Jones, 1970) and because of the abundance of oil-well records for the area. The study includes a sand-facies analysis and an integration of the facies data with existing information relative to temperatures and pressures. This paper is modified from a circular published earlier by Bebout, Dorfman, and Agagu (1975). (20 figs., 10 refs.)

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  • 1. geopressured geothermal energy conference, Austin, TX, USA, 2 June 1975

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  • Report No.: CONF-750612--2
  • Grant Number: NONE
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 886684
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc873716

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  • January 1, 1975

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Jan. 22, 2018, 3:09 p.m.

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Bebout, D. G.; Agagu, O. K. & Dorfman, M. H. Regional sand distribution of the Frio Formation, South Texas - A preliminary step in prospecting for Geothermal Energy, article, January 1, 1975; Austin, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc873716/: accessed September 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.