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Open-File Report 2011–1242

Undiscovered Petroleum Resources for the Woodford Shale and Thirteen Finger Limestone–Atoka Shale Assessment Units, Anadarko Basin

By Debra K. Higley

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In 2010 the U.S. Geological Survey assessed undiscovered oil and gas resources for the Anadarko Basin Province of Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas. The assessment included three continuous (unconventional) assessment units (AU). Mean undiscovered resources for the (1) Devonian Woodford Shale Gas AU are about 16 trillion cubic feet of gas (TCFG) and 192 million barrels of natural gas liquids (MMBNGL), (2) Woodford Shale Oil AU are 393 million barrels of oil (MMBO), 2 TCFG, and 59 MMBNGL, and (3) Pennsylvanian Thirteen Finger Limestone–Atoka Shale Gas AU are 6.8 TCFG and 82 MMBNGL. The continuous gas AUs are mature for gas generation within the deep basin of Oklahoma and Texas. Gas generation from the Woodford Shale source rock started about 335 Ma, and from the Thirteen Finger Limestone–Atoka Shale AU about 300 Ma. Maturation results are based on vitrinite reflectance data, and on 1D and 4D petroleum system models that calculated vitrinite reflectance (Ro), and Rock-Eval and hydrous pyrolysis transformation (HP) ratios through time for petroleum source rocks. The Woodford Shale Gas AU boundary and sweet spot were defined mainly on (1) isopach thickness from well-log analysis and published sources; (2) estimated ultimate recoverable production from existing, mainly horizontal, wells; and (3) levels of thermal maturation. Measured and modeled Ro ranges from about 1.2% to 5% in the AU, which represents marginally mature to overmature for gas generation. The sweet spot included most of the Woodford that was deposited within eroded channels in the unconformably underlying Hunton Group. The Thirteen Finger Limestone-Atoka Shale Gas AU has no known production in the deep basin. This AU boundary is based primarily on the gas generation window, and on thickness and distribution of organic-rich facies from these mainly thin shale and limestone beds. Estimates of organic richness were based on well-log signatures and published data.

First posted September 29, 2011

For additional information contact:

Chief Scientist,
USGS Central Energy Resources Science Center
Box 25046, Mail Stop 939
Denver, CO 80225

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Suggested citation:

Higley, D.K., 2011, Undiscovered petroleum resources for the Woodford Shale and Thirteen Finger Limestone–Atoka Shale assessment units, Anadarko Basin: U.S. Geological Survey Open File Report 2011–1242, 3 sheets,

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