The Successful Caprock Queen Water Flood - New Mexico's First
- E.A. Riley (Ambassador Oil Corp.)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Journal of Petroleum Technology
- Publication Date
- December 1961
- Document Type
- Journal Paper
- 1,195 - 1,199
- 1961. Original copyright American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers, Inc. Copyright has expired.
- 1.6 Drilling Operations, 4.3.1 Hydrates, 5.4 Enhanced Recovery, 4.2.3 Materials and Corrosion, 4.2 Pipelines, Flowlines and Risers, 4.1.2 Separation and Treating, 4.1.5 Processing Equipment, 5.4.1 Waterflooding, 2.4.3 Sand/Solids Control, 5.6.4 Drillstem/Well Testing, 6.5.2 Water use, produced water discharge and disposal, 5.3.2 Multiphase Flow, 3.2.3 Hydraulic Fracturing Design, Implementation and Optimisation, 1.10.1 Drill string components and drilling tools (tubulars, jars, subs, stabilisers, reamers, etc), 2.2.2 Perforating
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As a result of water flooding, some 30-million bbl of oil should ultimately be recovered from the Caprock Queen pool in southeastern New Mexico. The field is a consolidation of the Caprock Queen and Drickey Queen pools (Fig. 1), two separately discovered fields which were joined by subsequent drilling operations during their late primary lives. Practically the entire field is being flooded under unitized operation utilizing an 80-acre five-spot pattern contrived mainly by converting producers to injection status. Eight units have been formed and are injecting water. Only a few productive tracts are still nonunitized; however, efforts to place them in an offsetting unit are continuing. The advent of waterflood activity in New Mexico has added tremendously to the amount of recoverable oil reserves for the state. Obviously, these added reserves would be unrecoverable by primary production methods. Those units approved and injecting water prior to Nov., 1959, are operating under nonrestricted allowables, whereas those formed after this date are authorized to operate under a rule which carries allowable restrictions.
Water injection as a secondary recovery technique has just passed its infancy in New Mexico. Although one earlier effort in the state had been reasonably successful, the two pilot floods initiated by Ambassador Oil Corp. and Graridge Corp. in the northern end of the Caprock field in late 1956 can justifiably lay claim to being the "trigger" of concerted waterflood efforts in the state. These two projects proved conclusively the Queen sand in this field could be successfully flooded. The highly impressive performance of the two pilot floods resulted in their inclusion in unitized operations. Unitization efforts then progressed southward, leading to the formation of eight units-seven consisting of wells mainly drilled during primary development and one, the Pebble Queen Unit, containing wells which resulted from secondary-stage "fringe drilling" along the western edge of Unit No. 2 (Fig. 2). Obviously, other undrilled locations along edges of the field will be developed, particularly along the central sector. Unit Nos. 1, 2 and 3 and the John Trigg project operate under the old allowable rule which permits high injection and production rates. The Drickey Queen was injecting water prior to the Roswell (N. M.) hearing but has chosen to operate under Rule 701. The other units commenced injecting water after Nov., 1959; consequently, they operate under the latter rule.
The Caprock-Drickey pool is located along and adjacent to the boundary line between Lea and Chaves counties, N. M., in Townships 12, 13, 14 and 15 South Range 31 East, and Townships 12 and 13 Range 32 East.
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