Val verde basin

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Figure 1: Permian Basin Structural Setting[1]

Introduction

The Val Verde Basin is located in west Texas, it is a sub-basin of the Permian basin. Val Verde Basin is located in the southeastern part of the Permian Basin. Figure 1 shows the Permian Basin's structural settings, which breaks up the Permian Basin into each of the sub-basins The Val Verde Basin is approximately 15-25 miles wide by 150 miles long[2]. This basin was discovered in 1952[3]. Val Verde Basin contains over "5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and 187 million barrels of natural gas liquids[4]. As of 2016, the Val Verde Basin already has 15,000 wells"[4]. The major plays within this basin are heavily focused on the abundance of natural gas within the basin. Val Verde basin formed during the Ouachita orogeny and the Laramide orogeny. The major depositional system that formed the Val Verde Basin was a deep-water slope.

Provincial Geology

Figure 2: Val Verde Cross Section[5]

Tectonic History

Two main tectonic events that heavily influenced the Val Verde Basin were the Ouachita orogeny and the Laramide orogeny. Tectonic history of the Val Verde Basin begins with plate convergence, which resulted in "periodic exposure that supplied sediment to surrounding basins"[6]. The Thrust Belt formed "formed a synorogenic convergent margin"[6]. This was followed by a period of inactivity that resulted in organic Strawn limestone being deposited. Ouachita orogeny resulted in clastic rocks being deposited. Sandstone migrated northward with each sequence away from the Thrust Belt. Figure 2 shows the cross section of the Val Verde Basin. The depositional history of the Val Verde Basin from youngest to oldest would be as follows: Surface, Cretaceous, Guadeloupian, Leonardian, Ozona Canyon, Sonora Canyon, Lower Canyon. This is followed by a layer of black shale and a layer of Straw limestone. Figure 3 shows the synorogenic stratigraphy of the Val Verde Basin. The natural gas trapped within the basin is trapped by an anticline, which is a structural trap[7].

Figure 3 : Val Verde Synorogenic Stratigraphy and Depositional History [8]

Depositional Environment

As seen if figure 3, The Ozona deposition makes and Sonora make up the majority of the depositions with the Val Verde Basin. Lower Canyon sandstones stretch away from the thrust belt. The Ozona depositional environment formed in deep-water slope environment. Depositional systems in the upper section of the Ozona sequence include: "basin floor turbidites, shelf-margin deltas, and ramp carbonates overlain by shelf carbonates, and terrigenous mudstones"[6]. A deep-water slope environment is created when the sea level rises and falls. This results in sediment being deposited into layers. The deposition history of the Val Verde Basin ended with an unconformity that acts as a seal[9].


Petroleum Geology

Figure 4: Val Verde Plays[7]

The Val Verde Basin has been growing in popularity due to the high amounts of hydrocarbon reservoirs. The Ozona Canyon sandstone is a tight gas play within the Val Verde Basin[6]. Canyon sandstone is the source rock for this basin. Canyon sandstones have low permeability but are heavily saturated with gas[6]. Due to the source rock being a tight gas play, the majority of wells drilled are horizontal wells. Figure 4 shows the 4 major gas plays within the Val Verde Basin. Those four plays include Ozona Sandstone Fairway Tight Gas AU, Ozona Sandstone Peripheral Tight Gas AU, Sonora Sandstone Fairway Tight Gas AU, and the Sonora Sandstone Peripheral Tight Gas AU. "Structural compartmentalization, stratigraphic variability, diagenesis, and fracturing have created a complex reservoir system"[7].

Uncertainties and Risks

The main uncertainties related with the Val Verde Basin is the reservoir quantity and quality. Not much oil is extracted from the Val Verde Basin due to the basin having a poor reservoir quality. During the formation of the Val Verde Basin, oil migrated away due to it being pushed out by natural gas[10]. Natural gas migrated into the Strawn formation due to the difference in temperature, once cooled the natural gas liquid seeped into limestone[10]. Originally, the commercial success rate of wells drilled within the Val Verde Basin was 40%, since increased technological advances and a better understanding of the basin the success rate has increased to over 70%[7]. Anther major risk associated with this basin would be the price for natural gas, since the majority of the plays within this basin are focused on natural gas.

Current Events

The Val Verde Basin is still active today. This is due to the large amounts of natural gas being extracted, and natural gas reservoirs still being discovered. As of 2016, the Val Verde Basin has 236 producing leases.[7] A notable example of a recent discovery in the Val Verde Basin would be the reservoir that Barron Petroleum discovered. Barron Petroleum announced back in August 2020, that they have found that the 13,000-acre field in Val Verde is estimated to hold 417 billion cubic feet of natural gas[11]. Taking all of this into account, it is clear that the Val Verde Basin will still be an optimal gas play for years to come.

Read more about the Val Verde Basin

Val Verde Depositional History

Gas in Val Verde

Barron Petroleum Discovery

Tight Gas Resource Summary

References

  1. Val Verde natural gas plants. (n.d.). Retrieved March 10, 2021, from http://www.zeroco2.no/projects/val-verde-natural-gas-plants
  2. Scott L. Montgomery; Val Verde Basin: Thrusted Strawn (Pennsylvanian) Carbonate Reservoirs, Pakenham Field Area. AAPG Bulletin 1996;; 80 (7): 987–998. doi: https://doi.org/10.1306/64ED8C64-1724-11D7-8645000102C1865D
  3. C. D. Vertrees, G. (1970, January 01). Delaware and Val Verde Basins, Texas-New Mexico: ABSTRACT. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from http://archives.datapages.com/data/bulletns/1957-60/data/pg/0043/0007/1750/1777.htm
  4. 4.0 4.1 Fitzsimons, F. (2018, January 11). USGS: Val Verde Basin holds 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://www.energyindepth.org/usgs-val-verde-basin-holds-5-trillion-cubic-feet-of-natural-gas/
  5. Hamlin, H. (1970, January 01). Figure 2 FROM OZONA SANDSTONE, Val VERDE Basin, TEXAS: Synorogenic stratigraphy and depositional history in a Permian foredeep basin: Semantic Scholar. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Ozona-sandstone%2C-Val-Verde-Basin%2C-Texas%3A-and-in-a-Hamlin/2c42247a099db75a9e2c1f3d906f6c7cdad86792/figure/2
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 H. Scott Hamlin; Ozona sandstone, Val Verde Basin, Texas: Synorogenic stratigraphy and depositional history in a Permian foredeep basin. AAPG Bulletin 2009;; 93 (5): 573–594. doi: https://doi-org.ezproxy.lib.ou.edu/10.1306/01200908121
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 Oil & Gas 360. (2016, July 23). Texas's val Verde Basin scores 5 Tcf of natural gas. Retrieved March 10, 2021, from https://www.oilandgas360.com/texass-val-verde-basin-scores-5-tcf-natural-gas/
  8. Hamlin, H. (1970, January 01). [PDF] Ozona SANDSTONE, Val VERDE Basin, TEXAS: Synorogenic stratigraphy and depositional history in a Permian foredeep basin: Semantic Scholar. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Ozona-sandstone%2C-Val-Verde-Basin%2C-Texas%3A-and-in-a-Hamlin/2c42247a099db75a9e2c1f3d906f6c7cdad86792
  9. Hamlin, H., Clift, S., & Dutton, S. (1992, April 01). Stratigraphy and DIAGENESIS of Sonora canyon Deep-water SANDSONTES, Val VERDE basin, southwest Texas. Retrieved March 20, 2021, from https://www.osti.gov/biblio/6951426-stratigraphy-diagenesis-sonora-canyon-deep-water-sandsontes-val-verde-basin-southwest-texas
  10. 10.0 10.1 Wright, W. (n.d.). DEPOSITIONAL HISTORY OF THE DESMOINESIAN SUCCESSION (MIDDLE PENNSYLVANIAN) IN THE PERMIAN BASIN. Retrieved March 21, 2021, from https://www.beg.utexas.edu/resprog/permianbasin/PBGSP_members/writ_synth/Strawn.pdf
  11. LLC, B. (2020, August 20). Barron petroleum ANNOUNCES major New Permian Basin Discovery. Retrieved March 06, 2021, from https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/barron-petroleum-announces-major-new-permian-basin-discovery-301115732.html