Coordination of Geological and Engineering Research in Support of the Gulf Coast Co-Production Program - Final Report

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At Northeast Hitchcock field, the presence of the Skolithos assemblage and other structures has supported the interpretation of shallow-marine, tidal, distributary-mouth-bar, and channel depositional environments for most of the major reservoir sandstones. Several shaly horizons exhibit characteristics of interdistributary bays, and the Frio A is capped by a thin sequence of crevasse splays and washover sands that represent the initiation of the transgression that overlapped the Frio in Anahuac times.

The high-energy depositional environment of reworked distributary-mouth-bar sandstones is the major control of the high porosity (around 30 percent) and permeability (around 1,000 millidarcies) in Frio A sandstones at Northeast Hitchcock field. Well-winnowed sandstones with high porosities and permeabilities contain abundant authigenic kaolinite and have served as preferential conduits for migrating acid waters and major fluid flow during co-production. Authigenic clay can create fluid production problems due to its delicate structure. Dislodged clay may obstruct pore throats at high production rates, necessitating the determination of a maximum safe rate of fluid production for co-produced wells.

Middle and lower Miocene barrier island sands, buried at depths from 3,500 to 6,800 feet in Northeast Hitchcock field, have the potential to receive large volumes of co-produced brines from the Frio 1-A reservoir. These sands exhibit high permeabilities exceeding 2,000 millidarcies, are internally homogeneous, and are laterally extensive in the field area. The 6,150-foot sand (lower Miocene) was chosen for initial brine disposal in the H.D.S. Thompson No. 3 brine-disposal well based on these criteria. The 3,780-foot sand (middle Miocene) is recommended for future up-hole brine disposal in the H.D.S. Thompson No. 3 well because it is shallower, requiring less injection pressure and lower costs for brine disposal.


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