Prospectus for a Design Well in the Blessing Area Matagorda County, Texas

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Morton, Robert A.
Hamlin, H. Scott
Winker, C. D.
Weise, Bonnie R.
Gregory, A. R. (Alvin Ray), 1915-
Garcia, D. A.

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In recent years, the Bureau of Economic Geology has conducted regional subsurface studies of the Wilcox Group and Frio Formation of Texas as part of the U. S. Department of Energy's assessment of deep geopressured geothermal resources along the Gulf Coast. These studies resulted in two reports (Bebout and others, 1978; 1979) that describe several areas in Texas where temperatures are greater than 300°F and where the geology and reservoir conditions are suitable for resource testing by a design well.

Throughout the Texas Coastal Plain, the 300°F isotherm generally occurs at depths ranging from 12,000 to 16,000 ft. The overlying geopressured sediments represent a substantial portion of the sedimentary column that contains significant quantities of entrained methane, making them a significant portion of the resource base (Gregory and others, 1980). The lower temperatures and pressures of these shallow geopressured sediments result in lower methane solubility, but drilling costs would be substantially lower, and perhaps reservoir quality would be better in comparison to the deep geopressured intervals. Although the latter condition has not been substantiated, several areas that are geologically favorable for testing shallow geopressured aquifers with temperatures less than 300°F were identified in a recently completed study (Weise and others, 1980) funded by the Gas Research Institute.

The Blessing Prospect (fig. 1), one of the shallow prospects in Matagorda County, Texas, is presented in this prospectus as a candidate for the DOE design well program. The prospectus focuses on the geological and engineering aspects of the test site. Although legal and environmental considerations are mentioned, they have not been studied in detail and additional work would necessarily follow if the prospect is approved for drilling and testing. Likewise, a drilling program and an economic analysis would be necessary before final approval of a design well.


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