About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 66 (1982)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 635

Last Page: 636

Title: Previous HitEffectiveNext Hit Exploration Strategy--Stratigraphic and Paleostructural Controls on Hydrocarbon Migration in Denver Basin: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Patrick A. Tainter

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Current exploration strategies generally focus on trap identification and the organic richness and maturity of source rocks. Yet, examination of producing basins worldwide commonly indicates a non-uniform distribution of production in basins, which is not related just to trap and source location. Clearly, exploration based on such a strategy may focus efforts on an area where traps

End_Page 635------------------------------

and source rocks may appear conducive to hydrocarbon accumulation but where there are no hydrocarbons.

A more Previous HiteffectiveNext Hit strategy can be developed by first understanding the factors which control the path hydrocarbons take during migration. By determining the timing of hydrocarbon migration, the stratigraphy of carrier beds, and the paleostructural configuration of a basin at and since the time of migration, the pattern of hydrocarbon migration can be modeled. From this it is possible to make a reasonable prediction of the present distribution of hydrocarbons in a basin on a regional scale and to form an Previous HiteffectiveNext Hit exploration program for prospect generation.

This model is successfully applied in a test case to the middle Cretaceous D and J sands of the Dakota Group in the Denver basin. Most production in the basin is from these sands and is located in a 75-mi (121 km) wide fairway stretching from Denver east and north into western Nebraska. Hydrocarbon migration appears to have begun some time between the Late Cretaceous and middle Tertiary; hydrocarbons migrated a distance of up to 100 mi (161 km). Combination of paleostructural and stratigraphic maps indicates hydrocarbons were focused into the fairway mainly by the stratigraphy of the sands.

This strategy works well in an already productive basin and can be particularly useful in frontier areas to make exploration programs more Previous HiteffectiveTop.

End_of_Article - Last_Page 636------------

Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists