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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 235

Last Page: 236

Title: Smackover Exploration in the 1980s Along Conecuh Ridge, Southwestern Alabama: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Janet E. Bailey, James L. Rice

Article Type: Meeting abstract


Between 1982 and 1983, Smackover oil production was established at three new fields along the Conecuh ridge, southwestern Alabama, doubling

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the number of existing fields. Two of these discoveries (Huxford field and Appleton field) were a direct result of Texaco U.S.A.'s aggressive exploration program in Monroe, Conecuh, and Escambia Counties. Texaco also participated in the third field discovery, Lovett's Creek. During the last 4 yr, the company has controlled approximately 250,000 acres under lease and/or option, has shot 2,000 mi of seismic data, and has either drilled or participated in 18 wildcat wells in these 3 counties. Six successful Smackover oil completions, with initial gauges averaging 500 BOPD, yield a 33% success rate. Currently 3 wells are producing, 2 are awaiting production facilities, and 1 is being reworked.

Certain geological and geophysical factors complicated Texaco's Smackover exploration effort. First, the presence of near-surface Citronelle gravel frequently prevented successful transmittal of source energy to deep horizons and contributed both coherent and incoherent noise to the seismic data. Second, pervasive dolomitization in many places completely eradicated original rock texture, making environmental interpretation difficult. Third, facies changes and diagenetic changes in the reservoir rock were found to occur over very short distances, making development drilling high risk. Fourth, the presence of hydrogen sulfide in some successful wells substantially increased the cost of production facilities. However, even with these complications, a successful drilling program was achie ed.

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