Geology and oil and gas potential of the northeast Otero platform area, New Mexico
Bruce A. Black
The northeast Otero platform in southern New Mexico (Fig. 1) lies between the Sacramento Mountains on the northwest and the Guadalupe and Brokeoff Mountains to the east and southeast. To the west lie the Hueco Mountains, whose dip slopes form a part of the Otero platform, and to the southwest lie the Cornudas Mountains. To the south the area merges with the Diablo plateau. Structurally, the area lies north of the Diablo plateau and across the southern extension of the buried Paleozoic Pedernal uplift. Surface structures reflect both Laramide and late Tertiary deformation. Only Permian rocks with a scattered and generally thin cover of Quaternary sand and gravel are exposed throughout the area. Tertiary intrusives locally lie at shallow depths beneath the surface in the south-west corner of the area.
The area east of the buried Pedernal uplift is part of the west and northwest shelf of the prolific, oil-producing Dela-ware basin. The western half of the report area is on the east flank of the little tested Paleozoic Orogrande basin. The Pedernal uplift between these two areas is in many ways similar to the Central Basin platform of the Permian basin, and appears to have had a somewhat comparable geologic history. The timing of possible oil and gas maturation, migration and entrapment on the flanks of the Pedernal uplift appears to be analogous to that of the Central Basin platform. Significant pre Permian structural and stratigraphic traps may thus be present in this large and still virtually untested area.
Detailed subsurface mapping by the author was done in this area in 1972 and 1973 (Black, 1973). Regional stratigraphic work by Kottlowski (1960, 1963, 1965), Kottlowski and LeMone (1969) and Meyer (1966) covers parts or all of the area in a more general way.
- Black, Bruce A., 1975, Geology and oil and gas potential of the northeast Otero platform area, New Mexico, in: Las Cruces Country, Seager, William R.; Clemons, Russell E.; Callender, Jonathan F., New Mexico Geological Society, Guidebook, 26th Field Conference, pp. 323-333.