The potential that a basin-centered or continuous-type gas accumulation is present in the Albuquerque Basin in central New Mexico was investigated. The Albuquerque Basin is one of the many rift basins that make up the Rio Grand rift system, an area of active extension from Oligocene to recent time. The basin is significantly different from other Rocky Mountain basins that contain basin-centered gas accumulations because it is actively subsiding and is at near maximum burial and heating conditions at the present time. Burial reconstructions suggest that Cretaceous-age source rocks began to generate gas in the deeper parts of the basin about 20 million years ago and are still generating large amounts of gas. The high mud weights typically used while drilling the Cretaceous interval in the deeper areas of the basin suggest some degree of over-pressuring. Gas shows are commonly reported while drilling through the Cretaceous interval; however, attempts to complete gas wells in the Cretaceous have resulted in subeconomic quantities of gas, primarily because of low permeabilities. Little water has been reported. All of these characteristics suggest
that a basin-centered gas accumulation of some sort is present in the Albuquerque Basin.
Additional Publication Details
USGS Numbered Series
Potential for a basin-centered gas accumulation in the Albuquerque Basin, New Mexico