The Bone Spring Formation in the Delaware Basin, west Texas and southeast New Mexico, has seen a recent resurgence in drilling activity. Operators are targeting the low-resistive sands within the channel and unconfined basinal lobe facies of the 1st and 2nd Bone Spring sands. General depositional trends of the 2nd Bone Spring indicate that better potential for oil production exists in the northern half of the basin where it is comprised of deepwater channels and subsequently, better reservoir quality. These channels naturally transition southward (down-dip) into more unconfined channels, lobes, and basinal deposits. Newly acquired seismic data located in Culberson County, Texas has revealed ~400 ft of chaotic strata and a series of imbricate faults within the down-dip section of 2nd Bone Spring play. These features are interpreted as the slumps and slides of a mass transport deposit (MTD). Several recent wells within the MTD are performing better than expected given their location in the depositional system and assumed poorer reservoir quality. Notably, these types of deposits in The Gulf of Mexico are avoided as drilling targets due to proven poor reservoir quality. Therefore, we are investigating how this MTD played a role in enhancing production in the 2nd Bone Spring sand of the Delaware Basin.


The Bone Spring formation has been the target of a recent horizontal drilling surge in the Delaware Basin, southeast New Mexico and west Texas (Figure 1). The formation consists of a 3000 foot interval of shale and tight sandstone reservoirs intercalated with carbonate debris flows. The 1st and 2nd Bone Spring sand members are slope to deepwater facies with up-dip channels to the north and associated unconfined lobes to the south in the central basin (Figure 2).

URTeC 1619830

This content is only available via PDF.
You can access this article if you purchase or spend a download.