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AAPG Bulletin


Dry Creek Salt Dome, Mississippi Interior Salt Basin

Scott L. Montgomery and Rick L. Ericksen2


Recent drilling of salt dome flanks in the Mississippi Salt basin has resulted in important new discoveries and the opening of a frontier play. This play is focused on gas/condensate reserves in several Cretaceous formations, most notably the Upper Cretaceous Eutaw and lower Tuscaloosa intervals and Lower Cretaceous Paluxy and Hosston formations. As many as eight domes have been drilled thus far; sandstones in the upper Hosston Formation comprise the primary target. Production has been as high as 3-5 Mcf* and 500-1200 bbl of condensate per day, with estimated ultimate reserves in the range of 0.2 to 1.5 MBOE (million barrels oil equivalent) per well. As typified by discovery at Dry Creek salt dome, traps are related to faulting, unconformities, and updip loss of permeability. Previous drilling at Dry Creek, and in the basin generally, avoided the flank areas of most domes, due to geologic models that predicted late-stage (Tertiary) piercement and breached accumulations. Recent data from Dry Creek and other productive domes suggest that growth was episodic and that piercement of Tertiary strata did not affect deeper reservoirs charged with hydrocarbons in the Late Cretaceous.

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