Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

February 1993


Published in Great Plains Research 3:1 (February 1993), pp. 134-135. Copyright © 1993 The Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


The authors of Permian Basin Reservoirs have discovered two billion barrels of recoverable oil! Even better, they found this oil in existing fields, on lands owned by their employer, the University of Texas. They also assert that the oil can be recovered at low cost.

Three ideas summarize the findings of the 5-year study that forms the basis of this book: 1. Significant quantities of unexpected oil can be recovered, using low-cost, low-risk techniques, from existing fields. 2. The resources are concentrated in a few geologic plays, or reservoir types, so that most of the oil can be recovered from just a small number of reservoirs. 3. "The fundamental reason for lack of recovery of remaining mobile oil is geologic heterogeneity." Therefore, the exploitation of this oil requires a detailed knowledge of geological architecture in the few critical reservoir types (plays) in order to apply targeted infill drilling (both vertical and horizontal) and improved water flooding techniques. ("Mobile oil" is defined as "unrecovered oil that is movable at reservoir conditions but is prevented from migrating to existing well bores because of geologic complexities or heterogeneities.")