Hydrocarbon Production and Potential of the Distal Frio Formation, Texas Coastal Zone and Shelf


The distal Frio Formation along the Texas Coastal Zone and offshore has yielded 680.85 million barrels of oil and 6.54 trillion ft3 of gas from 153 fields that range in size from 1 to 140 million barrels of oil equivalent. To evaluate the exploration potential of the distal Frio extending deep beneath the Federal Outer Continental Shelf, petroleum production data, regional reservoir-quality and temperature/pressure conditions, and characterization of typical fields were integrated with Galloway's (1986) description of stratigraphy, depositional systems, and structural framework.

The most prospective locations for distal Frio exploration are in the Mustang Island and northeastern Galveston offshore areas, extending as far as 15 mi (24 km) seaward of the 3-league line (Outer Continental Shelf boundary). The North Padre Island offshore area has moderate exploration potential. Significant new discoveries will be deep (9,000 to 16,000 ft [2,740 to 4,880 m]), high-pressure, dry-gas-dominated reservoirs in thin, distal deltaic, strike-reworked delta-margin and distal shoreface/shelf sandstones that will potentially yield 1 to 100 billion ft3 of gas annually for as long as 10 years.


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