USGS estimates Texas formation holds 4.2 billion barrels of oil

By Staff | May 23, 2017

Using a geology-based assessment methodology, the U.S. Geological Survey estimates mean resources of 4.2 billion barrels of oil and 3.1 trillion cubic feet of gas in the Spraberry Formation of the Midland Basin within the Texas Permian Basin Province. A 2007 assessment by the agency estimated 500 million barrels of recoverable oil.

Crude from the Spraberry Formation has historically been extracted primarily through vertical drilling. However, since 2007, multiple intervals within the Spraberry have been targeted with horizontal drilling. The use of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling caused USGS to increase its estimates.

The Spraberry Formation is informally divided into the upper, middle, and lower intervals. The majority of the resource estimates are within two continuous assessment units. The USGS assessed undiscovered, technically recoverable continuous and conventional mean oil and gas resources for three assessment units defined in the Spraberry Formation.

In the southern part of the basin, production from continuous reservoirs is extensive across the greater Spraberry field. In the northern section of the basin, conventional Spraberry production occurs where multiple intervals of the formation and the underlying Dean Formation are productive from discrete fields.