Accommodation Model for Wolfcamp (Permian) Redbeds at the Updip Margin of North America's Largest Onshore Gas Field

Kansas Geological Survey

Open-file Report 2005-25


Accommodation Model for Wolfcamp (Permian) Redbeds at the Updip Margin of North America's Largest Onshore Gas Field


Martin K. Dubois, Kansas Geological Survey and Robert H. Goldstein, University of Kansas


To determine the accommodation and stabilization mechanisms that led to a lateral transition between Permian marine-carbonate-dominated sequences and continental-siliciclastic-dominated sequences at the margin of a giant gas field.


In the Kansas portion of the Hugoton Embayment of the Anadarko Basin, Council Grove Group red silts and very fine-grained sands of probable continental origin are up to four times thicker updip than they are in the middle to outer portion of the gently dipping ramp. Interbedded with the siliciclastics are shoaling-upward marine carbonates, the principal gas reservoirs in the fields, that were deposited during times of high sea level on the low-relief shelf. Carbonate units thin to the northwest where the red siliciclastics are thickest. A few of the carbonate units pinch out where the siliciclastics thicken in a position nearly coincident with the field margin. The redbeds have been suggested to be the lateral seal for the field and understanding the mechanisms for depositing the siliciclastics high on the shelf is critical to understanding reservoir geometry of the largest onshore gas deposit in North America.

Major Points


  1. Describe and analyze thirteen cores of the Council Grove in the Hugoton-Panoma field area.
  2. Tie lithofacies to wireline electric well logs.
  3. Utilize the Kansas Geological Survey tops set (formation-member level) from 12,000 wells to map thickness of each sedimentary half cycle (marine carbonate-siliciclastic) in the Council Grove.
  4. Develop general depositional model to explain sedimentary patterns.

Mechanisms considered for deposition of siliciclastics

  1. Siliciclastics are marine and accumulation is related to accommodation by sea level rise.
  2. Siliciclastics are fluvial (alluvial). Accommodation is from a rising gradient over a low relief surface.
  3. Siliciclastics are eolian and stabilized by rising water table associated with rising sea level.
  4. Siliciclastics are eolian and stabilized by a rising water table associated with increased rainfall due to a climate change.
  5. Siliciclastics are eolian and accumulation was made possible through biostabilization from plants and animals.


Field History

The 70-year old Hugoton and Panoma Field has yielded 34 TCF gas from the Wolfcampian Chase and Council Grove Groups. In the center of the field the combined gross pay is up to 130 meters thick (430 feet) and production is from thirteen fourth-order marine-continental sedimentary sequences. The two fields, Hugoton (Chase) and the underlying Panoma (Council Grove), have been regulated separately, but the two are more likely a common reservoir.

Last Modified November 2005