Study of Reservoir Heterogencities and Structural Features Affecting Production in the Shallow Oil Zone, Eastern Elk Hills Area, California
Description: Late Neogene (Plio-Pleistocene) shallow marine strata of the western Bakersfield Arch and Elk Hills produce hydrocarbons from several different reservoirs. This project focuses on the shallow marine deposits of the Gusher and Calitroleum reservoirs in the Lower Shallow Oil Zone (LSOZ). In the eastern part of the study area on the Bakersfield Arch at North and South Coles Levee field and in two wells in easternmost Elk Hills, the LSOZ reservoirs produce dry (predominantly methane) gas. In structurally higher locations in western Elk Hills, the LSOZ produces oil and associated gas. Gas analyses show that gas from the eastern LSOZ is bacterial and formed in place in the reservoirs, whereas gas associated with oil in the western part of the study area is thermogenic and migrated into the sands from deeper in the basin. Regional mapping shows that the gas-bearing LSOZ sands in the Coles Levee and easternmost Elk Hills area are sourced from the Sierra Nevada to the east whereas the oil-bearing sands in western Elk Hills appear to be sourced from the west. The eastern Elk Hills area occupied the basin depocenter, farthest from either source area. As a result, it collected mainly low-permeability offshore shale deposits. This sand-poor depocenter provides an effective barrier to the updip migration of gases from east to west. The role of small, listric normal faults as migration barriers is more ambiguous. Because our gas analyses show that the gas in the eastern LSOZ reservoirs is bacterial, it likely formed in-place near the reservoirs and did not have to migrate far. Therefore, the gas could have been generated after faulting and accumulated within the fault blocks as localized pools. However, bacterial gas is present in both the eastern AND western parts of Elk Hills in the Dry Gas Zone (DGZ) near the top ...
Date: November 1, 2004
Creator: Gillespie, Janice
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department