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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Four Corners Geological Society

Abstract


Cretaceous and Tertiary Rocks of the Southern Colorado Plateau, 1973
Pages 174-177

History of Mesaverde Development in the San Juan Basin

R. L. Pritchard

Abstract

The Mesaverde group has probably furnished energy to the regional Indian tribes for several hundred years; oil production was established in 1911 on the Chaco Slope. This paper is a review of the history and producing characteristics of the Mesaverde group within the boundaries of the Blanco Mesaverde pool and the Ignacio-Blanco extension in Colorado.

Marketable quantities of gas were first found in 1927 in sec. 29, T. 30 N., R. 9 W., just a short distance from Blanco, New Mexico, from which the pool got its name. The well was drilled by the Huntington Park Oil Company as the No. 1 Goede and was dually completed without stimulation in the Pictured Cliffs and Cliff House formations. A four inch pipeline connected the well to the town of Aztec in 1929. The Pictured Cliffs was produced during the summer and the more prolific Cliff House was produced during the winter.

A limited market caused curtailment of drilling until the mid-1940’s when the California population explosion created a demand for more gas and exploration of the Basin began. When it was determined that sufficient reserves were present an application was made and permission granted to El Paso Natural Gas Company to build a pipeline to California. This caused extensive drilling and the commercial Mesaverde locations were almost all drilled within the next decade.

The Mesaverde group consists of the basal regressive marine sandstone of the Point Lookout formation followed by the non-marine Menefee formation and capped by the transgressive sandstones of the Cliff House formation.

Production is primarily from the sandstones of the Cliff House and Point Lookout. The reservoir rocks have relatively low porosity and permeability but are fractured. A modern completion will open the fractures and clean up the avenue of escape for the entrapped hydrocarbons.


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