Play Analysis and Digital Portfoilio of Major Oil Reservoirs in the Permian Basin

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This 2-year PUMP project, now well underway, has made significant progress toward all goals and objectives. This report describes the work accomplished on the project during the first year.

The target of the project is the Permian Basin of West Texas and southeast New Mexico (fig. 1), the largest petroleum-producing basin in the United States. The Permian Basin produced 18 percent of the total U.S. oil production in 1999, and it contains an estimated 23 percent of the proved oil reserves in the United States (EIA, 2000). Moreover, this region has the biggest potential for additional oil production in the country, containing 29 percent of estimated future oil reserve growth (Root and others, 1995). More than in any other region, increased use of preferred management practices in Permian Basin oil fields will have a substantial impact on domestic production.

Production in the Permian Basin occurs from Paleozoic reservoirs, from Ordovician through Permian (fig. 2). Original oil in place (OOIP) in the Texas part of the basin alone was about 106 billion barrels (Bbbl) of oil (EIA, 2000). After reaching a peak production of more than 665 million barrels (MMbbl) per year in the early 1970s, Permian Basin oil production has continuously fallen. By 1999, production had fallen to less than 300 MMbbl, or half its peak production. Despite the continuing fall in production, the Permian Basin still holds a significant volume of oil. Although about 30 Bbbl of oil has been produced to date, this production represents only about 28 percent of the OOIP. Of the huge remaining resource in the basin, as much as 30 Bbbl of mobile oil remains as a target for improved technology and recovery strategies (Tyler and Banta, 1989).


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