Bureau of Economic Geology

Play Analysis and Digital Portfolio of Major Oil Reservoirs in the Permian Basin

The Permian Basin of west Texas and southeast New Mexico had produced >30 Bbbl (4.77 × 109 m3) of oil through 2000 and remains an important oil-producing province. Because of the substantial amount of oil remaining in the basin, this new digital oil-play portfolio was developed to facilitate increased use of enhanced-recovery practices in the Permian Basin. A total of 1,339 significant-sized reservoirs in the basin each had cumulative production of >1 MMbbl (1.59 × 105 m3) of oil through 2000; total production from these reservoirs was 28.9 Bbbl (4.59 × 109 m3). Thirty-two oil plays covering both the Texas and New Mexico parts of the Permian Basin were defined on the basis of reservoir stratigraphy, lithology, depositional environment, and structural and tectonic setting. Each of the significant-sized reservoirs was assigned to a play and mapped in a Geographic Information System (GIS). This play portfolio contains a summary description of each play, including key reservoir characteristics and successful reservoir development methods. Enhanced-recovery methods that have been demonstrated to work well in one reservoir in a particular play should be applicable to analogous reservoirs in that play. In addition to the report text, the GIS project, GIS metadata, large-scale maps of all plays, and digital reservoir-data files are also included in this portfolio. The Permian System dominates production, accounting for 73 percent of cumulative production in the Permian Basin, followed by the Pennsylvanian (13 percent) and the Ordovician (6 percent). Carbonate reservoirs have produced 75 percent of the oil, clastics 14 percent, mixed clastics and carbonates 8 percent, and chert 3 percent. The plays having the largest cumulative production are the Northwest Shelf San Andres Platform Carbonate play (4.0 Bbbl [6.31 × 108 m3]), the Leonard Restricted Platform Carbonate play (3.3 Bbbl [5.25 × 108 m3]), the Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian Horseshoe Atoll Carbonate play (2.7 Bbbl [4.29 × 108 m3]), and the San Andres Platform Carbonate play (2.2 Bbbl [3.42 × 108 m3]). Remaining reserves are 3.25 Bbbl (5.17 × 108 m3) from that component of the resource base that is already discovered and producing. Additional future production from the Permian Basin will be attributable to reserve growth and undiscovered resources.
Shirley P. Dutton
Eugene M. Kim
Robert F. Broadhead
Cari. L. Breton
William D. Raatz
Stephen C. Ruppel
Charles Kerans

Dutton, S. P., Kim, E. M., Broadhead, R. F., Breton, C. L., Raatz, W. D., Ruppel, S. C., and Kerans, Charles, 2005, Play Analysis and Digital Portfolio of Major Oil Reservoirs in the Permian Basin: The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology, Report of Investigations No. 271, 309 p.

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The University of Texas at Austin, Bureau of Economic Geology
Report of Investigation

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas

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