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The West Cat Canyon oil field is in the Santa Maria basin, approximately 10 miles southeast of the town of Santa Maria. Production is from Sisquoc (Pliocene) sands, discovered in 1908, and from fractured shales and cherts in the Monterey formation (upper Miocene), discovered in 1938.
The field has a cumulative production (January 1, 1952) of 52,000,000 barrels of oil from 2,900 acres. Of this production, 22,000,000 barrels is from the Pliocene and 30,000,000 barrels from the Miocene.
The Miocene section in the field is similar, in part, to that of the Santa Maria Valley field, the main differences being in the thickness and age of the chert.
The productive limit of the field has been extended northwest by the progressive drilling of step-out wells. The accumulation in the extended area is mainly due to faults which interrupt the northwest plunge of the structure, and to fracturing and resultant permeability above the main producing zone.
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