In times past, many in the geologic community eagerly awaited each new volume of “Oil & Gas Fields of South Louisiana,” assembled and published by theNew Orleans Geological SocietyFor more(NOGS) .
The Society produced and published 10 of these volumes between 1960 and 1987.
Unfortunately, the effort then hit a wall when it became difficult to find an individual to assume the immense job of spearheading the projects. There’s one heckuva lot of time and work involved in soliciting fields to include, ensuring that drafting meets a consistent standard, editing the field write-ups, coordinating the publishing and more.
Now for the good news.
Oil & Gas Fields of South Louisiana 2010 is now available in a variety of formats: CD, B&W hard copy and color.
The hardcopy version of the new study tallies 318 pages. Field information includes geology, geophysics, maps, cross sections, logs, stratigraphy and paleontology. Seismic lines are included in some instances.
The idea for a new publication was presented to the NOGS board in 2005 but failed to take on wings.
In December 2009, AAPG and NOGS member Carlo Christina convened a meeting of the NOGS Board and past presidents to discuss approaches to re-energize the Society.
He proposed that the oil and gas field project was the appropriate path to take.
Christina and fellow AAPG and NOGS member Charles Corona volunteered to serve as co-chairmen of the sizeable undertaking; a steering committee was formed by early January 2010.
Deciding which of the almost innumerable fields to zero in on in this longtime producing region was task number one.
“The committee decided to target the top oil and gas producing fields, with an emphasis on their recent production history,” Christina said. “Some of these top fields had been discovered since the last NOGS volume had been published.
“However, it was recognized quite early in the process that many of the now-top producers were actually old fields that had been in steep decline or had even gone off production,” he continued. “Recent activities had rejuvenated these fields.
“The theme of the volume is, ‘What happened?’” Christina noted.
Forty fields were targeted up front for this in-depth exploration-economics analysis. Geologists associated with the fields were asked to contribute studies.
“We eventually found contributors for 26 fields,” Corona said. “Once submitted, the process of editing and proofreading ensued, and all authors were asked for their final approval before the field studies were published.”
The Big Picture
One of the notable features of the new publication is the fields all are producing via conventional production methods, according to NOGS and AAPG Honorary member Ed Picou, who serves on the steering committee for the project.
In other words, it documents that good things are happening in the oil patch in addition to the ubiquitous, often headline-making unconventional shale plays.
The new publication includes an extensive exploration update dubbed South Louisiana Exploration Results (1988-2010), penned by AAPG and NOGS member Paul Lawless.
“Paul has done an excellent job of capturing the drilling activity in the area during this time period,” Picou said. “His analysis, trend by trend, is easy to read, and it’s chock-full of information for anyone or company thinking of exploring in south Louisiana.
“It stresses failures as well as successes,” he added.
Picou noted that it was primarily 3-D seismic that catapulted the increased production in the fields included in the study.
For example, Freshwater Bayou Field in Vermilion Parish was discovered in 1942 by Union Oil Company and Louisiana Land & Exploration. Cumulative production through 1993 was 133 Bcf and 1.36 MMbo.
In 1993, a deeper pool test in the existing field yielded a high profile gas discovery tabbed Freshwater Bayou (Deep), according to Kevin McMichael, who contributed the field study to the NOGS effort.
A proprietary 3-D program was shot in 1994 to acquire a more accurate structural interpretation and locate additional take-points for efficient reservoir depletion. Shallower reservoirs were eventually developed also, with seven additional wells drilled to accomplish full field development.
Cumulative production from the deep accumulation currently exceeds 585 Bcf and 7.9 MMb condensate.
“If you own a field and think there’s potential there,” Picou said, “reading these field studies may well give you some insight on what to do.”