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Abstract: Williston Basin Red River Formation — Exploration Success, Development Failure
Wyoming Geological Association: 1982 Luncheon Meetings Casper, Wyoming: Abstracts of Papers
Hydrocarbon reserves in Red River limestones are typically found in porosity zones created by paragenetic dolomitization and diagenetic calcite solution and microfracturing. The porosity developed on the tops and flanks of low-relief carbonate highs in a shallow marine environment. Since basement structure and topography controlled the location and limits of porosity development, we attempt to reconstruct Ordovician topography in our search for Red River prospects.
Most Red River fields are composed of small topographic bumps with associated pods of porosity. Clusters of bumps may be aligned locally and may form regional trends reflecting paleoshorelines.
Exploration drilling along these trends can be surprisingly successful. However, offset drilling may be disappointing for several reasons: seismic data may not be able to adequately define the structure; the structure or reservoir may be too small to provide offset potential; porosity may be sporadically developed; or acreage ownership or spacing regulations may restrict optimum well positioning. Unfortunately, lease or drilling deadlines generally have the habit of compounding the aforementioned problems.
Acknowledgments and Associated Footnotes
1 Eric Johnson: Terra Resources
© Wyoming Geological Association, 2015