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Houston Geological Society Bulletin


Houston Geological Society Bulletin, Volume 36, No. 6, February 1994. Pages 11-11.

Abstract: Exploration Opportunities for Independents - Case Histories In North and East Texas


Robert G. Font

Exploration opportunities throughout the continental USA abound for today's independents. The shift of major oil companies toward the international scene has resulted in chances ranging from purchases of producing properties to singular opportunities in exploration. Well-defined prospects backed by state-of-the-art technical data exist in the archives of most major, domestic oil companies. The fact that reserve levels linked to international and domestic offshore prospects are most attractive to the majors, establishes a window of opportunity for independents interested in domestic, onshore drilling of scientifically-sound, commercial tests.

As a point of illustration, prospects in north and east Texas have been selected for discussion. In north Texas, seismic reveals the potential which still exists within this mature, productive province. Subtle structural and stratigraphic trap involving the regionally productive, Pennsylvanian conglomerates; the fractured, Mississippian Barnett Shale which acts as its own source, reservoir and trap, and where well-established rock mechanics models are applicable in determining optimum fracture development and prospect locations; the productive potential of the Cambro Ordovician deep Ellenburger carbonates and underlying Cambrian sands; and a fascinating sequence of Pre-Cambrian truncated wedges of unknown hydrocarbon potential mark some of the various opportunities that still exist for the independent explorationist in this region. In east Texas, log analysis of untested sections of the Cretaceous Glen Rose formation, analogous to the prolific production found in the Alabama Ferry field, offer encouragement and affirm the prospective potential that remains for independents in the domestic, onshore scenario.

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