Petroleum exploration wells drilled in west-central New Mexico
Ronald F. Broadhead and Bruce A. Black


Ninety-live petroleum exploration wells have been drilled in west-central New Mexico. Wells have been drilled in the Aroma and Baca basins and in the Gallup sag. as well as on the Lucero uplift. The first well was drilled in 1919. Drilling continues, and exploration has been active in the 1980's. Although commercial amounts of oil and gas have not yet been discovered, promising shows of oil and gas have been encountered. Both source rocks and reservoirs appear to be present in this geologically complex area. 
In the Aroma basin, reservoirs are present in Upper Cretaceous sandstones, in Permian limestones, dolostones and sandstones and in Pennsylvanian sandstones and limestones. Pennsylvanian shales. limestones and dolostones of the San Andres Formation (Permian) may he source rocks.
On the Lucero uplift, dolostones of the San Andres Formation I Permian) and Pennsylvanian sandstones and limestones are reservoir objectives. Possible source rocks are San Andres carbonates and Pennsylvanian shales.
Oil and gas may also have been generated to the west in the Acorns basin and subsequently migrated updip into reservoirs on the Lucero uplift, or petroleum may have been generated to the east in the Albuquerque basin and subsequently migrated vertically through basin-hounding faults into the Lucero uplift.
 In the Baca basin. reservoirs are present in Upper Cretaceous sandstones. Permian carbonates and sandstones, and Pennsylvanian sandstones. Possible source rocks are Upper Cretaceous marine shales and Permian carbonates. Upper Cretaceous coal beds may be reservoirs and source rocks for gas in west-central Cibola County. 
In the Gallup sag, main reservoir objectives are limestones in the San Andres Formation (Permian), the Glorieta Sandstone (Permian) and sandstones and carbonates in the Yeso Formation (Permian). Source-rocks are poorly documented but may also he present in Yeso dolostones.


  1. Broadhead, Ronald F.; Black, Bruce A., 1989, Petroleum exploration wells drilled in west-central New Mexico, in: Southeastern Colorado Plateau, Anderson, Orin J.; Lucas, Spencer G.; Love, David W.; Cather, Steven M., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 40th Field Conference, pp. 287-296.

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