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Geology and Sequence Stratigraphy of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources in Conventional and Continuous Petroleum Systems in the Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Group and Related Strata, U.S. Gulf Coast Region
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) recently assessed the technically recoverable undiscovered oil and gas onshore and in State waters of the Gulf Coast region of the United States. The USGS defined three assessment units (AUs) with potential undiscovered conventional and continuous oil and gas resources in Upper Cretaceous (Cenomanian to Turonian) strata of the Eagle Ford Group and correlative rocks. The assessment is based on geologic elements of a total petroleum system, including hydrocarbon source rocks (source rock maturation, hydrocarbon generation and migration), reservoir rocks (sequence stratigraphy and petrophysical properties), and traps (formation, timing, and seals). Conventional oil and gas undiscovered resources are in updip sandstone reservoirs in the Upper Cretaceous Tuscaloosa and Woodbine Formations (or Groups) in Louisiana and Texas, respectively, whereas continuous oil and continuous gas undiscovered resources reside in the middip and downdip Upper Cretaceous Eagle Ford Shale in Texas and the Tuscaloosa marine shale in Louisiana. Conventional resources in the Tuscaloosa and Woodbine are included in the Eagle Ford Updip Sandstone Oil and Gas AU, in an area where the Eagle Ford Shale and Tuscaloosa marine shale display vitrinite reflectance (Ro) values less than 0.6%. The continuous Eagle Ford Shale Oil AU lies generally south of the conventional AU, is primarily updip of the Lower Cretaceous shelf edge, and is defined by thermal maturity values within shales of the Eagle Ford and Tuscaloosa that range from 0.6 to 1.2% Ro. Similarly, the Eagle Ford Shale Gas AU is defined downdip of the shelf edge where source rocks have Ro values greater than 1.2%. For undiscovered oil and gas resources, the USGS assessed means of: 1) 141 million barrels of oil (MMBO), 502 billion cubic feet of natural gas (BCFG), and 4 million barrels of natural gas liquids (MMBNGL) in the Eagle Ford Updip Sandstone Oil and Gas AU; 2) 853 MMBO, 1707 BCFG, and 34 MMBNGL in the Eagle Ford Shale Oil AU; and 3) 50,219 BCFG and 2009 MMBNGL in the Eagle Ford Shale Gas AU.
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