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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 29, No. 9, May 1987. Pages 10-10.

Abstract: East Taft Field, San Patricio County, Texas - A Subtle Stratigraphic Trap


Richard R. Railsback

The shallow Upper Frio producing trend along the downthrown side of the Vicksburg flexure in the Lower Texas Gulf Coast is certainly one of the world's supermature provinces for oil and gas exploration. Current emphasis in exploration must be for the subtle trap, the discovery of which has been selected against during the many years of intensive exploration. East Taft Field is an excellent example of one such subtle trap. A stratigraphic oil accumulation in a barrier bar washover sand, East Taft has produced 2.35 million barrels of oil from 33 wells completed in an average of only 2.5 ft (0.76 m) of net oil sand. Traps of this type are numerous all along the trend due to the nature of the barrier bar and adjacent lagoonal environments. These traps remain largely undiscovered as they are never specifically explored for and are often passed over as noncommercial when penetrated by wells. The economic potential of these subtle traps is enormous. Exploration programs geared specifically toward finding these reserves can be expected to provide an excellent return on investment. However, creative geological thinking and innovative engineering practices will be required to discover and develop these fields profitably. For the explorationist who is willing to do the detailed structural and stratigraphic analysis required to identify these prospects, who understands the risks involved in exploration for these traps, and who is willing to innovate, these subtle stratigraphic traps truly represent a new frontier in an old producing province.

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