Petroleum Potential in Texas State Submerged Lands, Frio and Lower Miocene Depositional Episodes

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1987

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Abstract

The historical trend of annual oil and gas production from State submerged lands along the Texas Coastal Zone has been one of decline. However, this decline rate can be moderated, and production rates stabilized, through proper incentives, innovative exploration and development strategies, and enhanced recovery programs. In the 1980s, the rate of decline in Texas oil and gas production slowed down, with a maximum decline of 4.6 percent in the Texas Gulf area, following a relatively rapid decline in the 1970s (maximum 6.5 percent decline in the Texas Gulf area).

Fisher and Finley (1986) outlined two main drilling strategies that helped arrest the rate of production decline and added to reserves: (1) infill drilling and field extension, and (2) new field wildcats. The majority of additional reserves came from infill and extension drilling, as well as new pool discoveries. Statistics from Fisher and Finley (1986) and Fisher (1987) illustrate that between 1973 and 1982, extension and infill drilling contributed more reserves (4.38 billion bbl) compared to new field discoveries (0.65 billion bbl), new pool discoveries (0.60 billion bbl), tertiary projects (0.25 billion bbl), and delayed abandonments (0.14 billion bbl).

To maximize hydrocarbon recovery from State submerged lands, it is essential to improve recovery from known reservoirs and actively seek out small and moderate-sized new fields. By implementing secondary recovery techniques and gaining fresh insights through exploration efforts, significant new hydrocarbon resources can be discovered in State lands. This potential is supported by the historical productivity of the Frio trend in onshore State waters and the relative immaturity of the Frio and lower Miocene trends in State offshore waters.

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