Targeting Reserve Growth Opportunities in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Basin: Transferring Secondary Gas Recovery Technology to the Offshore Environment

Abstract

The Bureau of Economic Geology's Offshore Secondary Gas Recovery research program was a 4-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy. Its goals were to research new techniques in defining the structure, stratigraphy, and hydrocarbon character in mature areas in the northern Gulf of Mexico, to utilize those multidisciplinary techniques to identify additional gas resources, and to predict regional trends in hydrocarbon accumulation. By the latest estimates, Miocene-age strata of the northern Gulf of Mexico shelf are thought to contain 12.7 Tcf of remaining gas, representing 41 percent of the total remaining proven recoverable reserves. A study area was chosen in the Vermilion Block 50 and South Marsh Island Areas of offshore Louisiana. This area included two major producing fields, Starfak and Tiger Shoal, that provided more than 150 logging suites, detailed rock-property measurements, and whole and sidewall core, all of which were integrated with a high-quality 3-D seismic survey to construct a detailed sequence-stratigraphic framework for the study area. Analyses were done within the context of this framework for researchers to better understand stratigraphic and structural controls on resource distribution and to plan the pursuit of new opportunities.

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