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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 44 (1960)

Issue: 6. (June)

First Page: 960

Last Page: 960

Title: Pennsylvanian Gas in Four Corners Region: ABSTRACT

Author(s): M. Dane Picard, Boyd R. Brown, A. J. Joleit, J. W. Parker

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Pennsylvanian accumulations of gas and casing-head gas in the Four Corners region (junction of Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona) occur in carbonates of Desmoinesian age (Middle Pennsylvanian) in four lithologic zones of the Paradox member of the Hermosa formation. These zones, from oldest to youngest, have been named Barker Creek, Akah, Desert Creek, and Ismay. They are shelf counterparts of basinal evaporitic sequences.

Reservoir beds are calcirudite, calcarenite, and sparsely to moderately fossiliferous carbonate, which is nearly in place and was deposited in biostromal and biohermal complexes. Dolomitization and other diagenetic changes have affected these units. Vuggy and intercrystalline porosity are predominant; fracturing is important in some places.

Only in a few instances can the type of trap, with fair assurance, be defined from present subsurface control. Structurally, all of the gas fields are found on surface or subsurface highs of varying relief and areal extent. Sedimentary compaction has contributed to this relief in some places, and late Pennsylvanian-Permian warping has occurred. Most of the present structural relief of these structures is due to folding during the Laramide orogeny. Stratigraphic variations, from porous reservoir beds to nonporous units, are a contributing factor in most accumulations, and the major controlling factor in some.

Eleven gas and five casing-head gas fields have been found to date, but these are still largely undeveloped. The cumulative gas production to July 1, 1959, in the Aneth Complex was 9,682,004 MCF. To September 1, 1959, the cumulative production from four zones was 179,825,593 MCF at the Barker Creek field which represents slightly over one-half of the calculated original recoverable reserves of 315 billion cubic feet. Gas from the Barker Creek field, and from the Aneth Complex, is transmitted to Kirtland, New Mexico, and from there to Topock, Arizona. Buyers at Topock distribute to customers in California and southern Nevada.

These Pennsylvanian gas accumulations are believed to be essentially in situ occurrences. Migration was predominantly local, not exceeding a few miles; and entrapment occurred in laterally adjacent areas of bioclastics and sparsely to moderately fossiliferous carbonates. After initial entrapment, some later re-migration is believed to have occurred.

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