This paper was prepared for the 41st Annual Fall Meeting of the Society of Petroleum Engineers of AIME, to be held in Dallas, Tex., Oct. 2–5, 1966. Permission to copy is restricted to an abstract of not more than 300 words. Illustrations may not be copied. The abstract should contain conspicuous acknowledgment of where and by whom the paper is presented. Publication elsewhere after publication in the JOURNAL OF PETROLEUM TECHNOLOGY or the SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS JOURNAL is usually granted upon request to the Editor of the appropriate journal provided agreement to give proper credit is made.

Discussion of this paper is invited. Three copies of any discussion should be sent to the Society of Petroleum Engineers office. Such discussion may be presented at the above meeting and, with the paper, may be considered for publication in one of the two SPE magazines.

The Cook Inlet basin is a narrow, elongate trough of Mesozoic and Tertiary sediments located north of latitude 59 degrees in south-central Alaska (Fig. 1). The basin covers approximately 11,000 square miles of the northern part of the Matanuska geosyncline and is bounded by the Kenai and Chugach Mountains on the east, the Talkeetna Mountains and the Copper River on the northeast, the Susitna basin on the north, the Chigmit Mountains and the Alaska Range on the west, and the Shelikof Strait on the south. In less than ten years the basin has achieved such a degree of prominence as a petroleum province that it ranks with off-shore areas in California and the Gulf Coast as the most promising future source of large domestic reserves. Oil and gas exploration in the basin has rapidly increased in the past few years and is currently at its highest level in history. Although the general characteristics of the basin are fairly well known, new informations as it is made available will cause many revisions of the stratigraphic and structural fabric before a complete geological picture is possible. This report revises and refines certain concepts of the basin which were discussed in an earlier work (Kelly, 1963). In certain aspects it may be considered a progress report that will require periodic updating as new information is made available.


A list of references includes many published reports written chiefly by members of the U. S. Geological Survey who investigated the mineral resources of the Cook Inlet basin. The first indications of petroleum in the basin and the early attempts to find production were documented by Martin (1905). Mather (1925), further described the petroleum potential of the southwestern part of the basin in the Kamishak Bay area.

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