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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 26 (1942)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 908

Last Page: 908

Title: Geological Factors Which Led to Discovery of Salt Lake Pool, Western Lea County, New Mexico: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Charles P. Miller

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Salt Lake pool is in southeastern New Mexico, approximately midway between Carlsbad and Hobbs. The discovery well was completed in June, 1941, at a total depth of 3,103 feet. As of February 1, 1942, the field contained six wells, producing oil that ranges in gravity from 26 to 30 degrees.

Microscopic study of the pay section reveals that much of the oil has accumulated in solution cavities within the dolomitic limestone and that the dolomitic limestone itself is not saturated. Two distinct "pays" are separated by approximately 75 feet of limestone yielding only minor showings of oil. The early appearance of water suggests that the solution cavities contain appreciable amounts of water as well as oil. Free gas is practically lacking and the oil is produced by pumping. The Cowden anhydrite member in the lower part of the Salado salt is believed to be the youngest reliable structural marker. It is believed that much of the structural adjustment that produced closure in the Salt Lake pool occurred during middle Salado time. Therefore, in searching for new pools within this area, the thickening and thinning of the Salado should be carefully studied. Isopach maps of the interval from the top of the Rustler anhydrite to the top of the Cowden anhydrite are very helpful in localizing structure. Isopach maps in the interval from the top of the Cowden to the top of the pay may be very useful in predicting pay characteristics.

The methods which were checked one against the other in locating the Salt Lake pool are given herewith in the order used.

1. Regional contouring on a bed below the base of the salt.
2. Preparation of isopach maps on the salt section.
3. Survey of local area by torsion balance.
4. Survey of local area by soil analysis.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists