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The Characteristics, History and Development of the Basin Dakota Gas Field, San Juan Basin, New Mexico
Gas production from the Basin Dakota field of northwest New Mexico is a major contributor to the total production of the giant San Juan basin gas field. The Dakota sediments are of lowermost Upper Cretaceous age and consist of a sandstone-shale sequence about 300 feet thick at an average depth of 7,000 feet. The majority of the Dakota gas accumulations are stratigraphically controlled with structural accumulations present in Colorado. Hydrodynamic forces are believed to be essential in preventing the escape of the gas from the central portion of the San Juan basin. Low porosities and permeabilities characterize the Dakota sandstones, and fracturing is essential for effective development of this reservoir.
Since the Dakota discovery well for the Basin Dakota field was drilled in 1947, approximately 2 trillion cubic feet of gas and 21 million barrels of oil have been produced. There are presently about 2,200 producing wells in the field producing approximately 17 billion cubic feet of gas per month. It is common practice to drill field development wells with gas, followed by a sand-water frac which is used to increase effective permeability in the formation.
The productive limits of gas production from the Basin Dakota field have not yet been established and an active stepout program is in progress.
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