Oil and gas exploration wells in Dona Ana County, New Mexico
Thompson, Sam, III and Robert A. Bieberman
Fourteen wells have been drilled in Dona Ana County in search of oil and gas over the period from 1932 to 1973. Several have reported significant shows, but no commercial quantities of petroleum have been produced. Favorable source and reservoir units have been demonstrated in the Cretaceous and Paleozoic sections, and structural traps are evident. Fluid systems no doubt were disrupted locally by igneous and tectonic activity during several episodes from Laramide time onward, but these negative effects do not appear to have been widespread. Although several of the wells were located on good prospects, less than half reached Paleozoic formations and none have reached Precambrian basement. Thus in this county of 70,400 acres, there are many untested areas in the Rio Grande, Jornada del Muerto, and Tularosa Valleys.
For this field conference, we are reviewing briefly the information found in the articles by Kottlowski, Flower, Thompson, and Foster (1956, p. 78-82) and Kottlowski, Foster, and Wengerd (1969, p. 186-196), information in the Bureau files, and some information which was kindly furnished by others for this paper. In the near future, a more comprehensive study of this county is planned as part of the Bureau's regional evaluation of the petroleum potential in southwestern New Mexico.
Figure 1 is a map showing the locations and total depths of the known exploration wells. Table 1 is a summary of the basic information available. In the following sections, key wells are discussed in the geographic order used in the construction of the table.
- Thompson, Sam, III; Bieberman, Robert A., 1975, Oil and gas exploration wells in Dona Ana County, New Mexico, in: Las Cruces Country, Seager, William R.; Clemons, Russell E.; Callender, Jonathan F., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 26th Field Conference, pp. 171-174.