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Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources—Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups, United States Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain and State Waters

Open-File Report 2016-1199

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https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161199

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Abstract

In 2010, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) assessed Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups and their equivalent units for technically recoverable, undiscovered hydrocarbon resources underlying onshore lands and State Waters of the Gulf Coast region of the United States. This assessment was based on a geologic model that incorporates the Upper Jurassic-Cretaceous-Tertiary Composite Total Petroleum System (TPS) of the Gulf of Mexico basin; the TPS was defined previously by the USGS assessment team in the assessment of undiscovered hydrocarbon resources in Tertiary strata of the Gulf Coast region in 2007. One conventional assessment unit (AU), which extends from south Texas to the Florida panhandle, was defined: the Fredericksburg-Buda Carbonate Platform-Reef Gas and Oil AU. The assessed stratigraphic interval includes the Edwards Limestone of the Fredericksburg Group and the Georgetown and Buda Limestones of the Washita Group. The following factors were evaluated to define the AU and estimate oil and gas resources: potential source rocks, hydrocarbon migration, reservoir porosity and permeability, traps and seals, structural features, paleoenvironments (back-reef lagoon, reef, and fore-reef environments), and the potential for water washing of hydrocarbons near outcrop areas.

In Texas and Louisiana, the downdip boundary of the AU was defined as a line that extends 10 miles downdip of the Lower Cretaceous shelf margin to include potential reef-talus hydrocarbon reservoirs. In Mississippi, Alabama, and the panhandle area of Florida, where the Lower Cretaceous shelf margin extends offshore, the downdip boundary was defined by the offshore boundary of State Waters. Updip boundaries of the AU were drawn based on the updip extent of carbonate rocks within the assessed interval, the presence of basin-margin fault zones, and the presence of producing wells. Other factors evaluated were the middle Cenomanian sea-level fall and erosion that removed large portions of platform and platform-margin carbonate sediments in the Washita Group of central Louisiana. The production history of discovered reservoirs and well data within the AU were examined to estimate the number and size of undiscovered oil and gas reservoirs within the AU. Using the USGS National Oil and Gas Assessment resource assessment methodology, mean volumes of 40 million barrels of oil, 622 billion cubic feet of gas, and 14 million barrels of natural gas liquids are the estimated technically recoverable undiscovered resources for the Fredericksburg-Buda Carbonate Platform-Reef Gas and Oil AU.

Suggested Citation

Swanson, S.M., Enomoto, C.B., Dennen, K.O., Valentine, B.J., and Cahan, S.M., 2017, Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources—Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups, United States Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain and State Waters: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2016–1199, 69 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20161199.

ISSN: 2331-1258 (online)

Study Area

Table of Contents

  • Abstract
  • Introduction
  • Stratigraphy of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups
  • Structural Features
  • Depositional Framework
  • Hydrocarbon Source Rocks
  • Reservoir Rocks
  • Seals and Traps
  • Geologic Model for Assessment of Undiscovered Hydrocarbons
  • Boundaries Used to Define Assessment Units
  • Estimates of the Numbers and Sizes of Undiscovered Reservoirs
  • Assessment Results
  • Acknowledgments
  • References Cited
  • Appendix 1. Input data form for the Fredericksburg-Buda Carbonate Platform-Reef Gas and Oil Assessment Unit (50490127)

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Geologic assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources—Lower Cretaceous Albian to Upper Cretaceous Cenomanian carbonate rocks of the Fredericksburg and Washita Groups, United States Gulf of Mexico Coastal Plain and State Waters
Series title:
Open-File Report
Series number:
2016-1199
DOI:
10.3133/ofr20161199
Year Published:
2017
Language:
English
Publisher:
U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location:
Reston, VA
Contributing office(s):
Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description:
Report: vii, 68 p.; Appendix 1: 2 p.
Country:
United States
State:
Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas
Online Only (Y/N):
Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N):
Y