The Shell Oil “Vilche” Deep Test and a Better Understanding of the Pine Creek Fault, northern Sacramento Basin: what a difference one micropaleontology report makes!
Abstract The Shell Oil “Vilche” well was drilled to a total depth of 19,670’ in 1980. It is by far the deepest well ever drilled in the Sacramento Basin, even though the deep dry hole is located in the far northern portion of the basin and lies north of any natural gas production. Recent remapping of this part of the basin, making use of a micropaleontology report of the well, has caused a significant change in the understanding of this part of the basin. These data, along with data from a 15-well drilling program by Hamar Associates and the Nahabedian Exploration Group between 1998 and 2006, show that the Pine Creek fault has a much larger offset than was previously thought. The data also show that a thick section of Upper Cretaceous strata was preserved in a “sub-basin” on the northern side of the fault.
Biography Scott Hector is a partner in Hobby Energy, a geological consulting firm located in Rio Vista, California. The company was started in 2005 with the help of the late Kevin Graham, who also owned Paul Graham Drilling and Service Company. Hobby assists other companies in oil and gas prospect analysis, drilling proposals and mineral remoteness opinions. In recent years most of the work for the firm has been the Mineral Remoteness Opinions, mainly for the solar power and wind power industries. Scott was born in 1948 in Albany, California. He has been interested in geology since he burned his hand trying to pick up a sparkly gravel rock in the parking lot of a restaurant near Palm Springs in the middle of summer at the age of 5. His father bought him a small child’s rock collection in the restaurant to stop his crying. He fell in love with the collection, even sleeping with it, according to his parents. The love affair has never ended! Scott attended Humboldt State College from 1967 to 1970, but transferred to the University of California at Davis. He received his B.S. degree in Geology from there in 1972, and his M.S. degree from UCD in 1976. He actually started to work in the oil industry with Texaco in 1974, and finished his thesis two years later. His thesis was a mapping thesis over the Castle Rock Quadrangle in the Santa Cruz Mountains, some 40 miles south of San Francisco on the Peninsula (and, where he grew up on a 200-acre ranch). Scott had Robert Matthews and Cordell Durrell from UCD on his committee, and Dr. Earl Brabb from the USGS. So, Scott’s oil patch experience has been over 40 years. He has held between 12 and 14 jobs, depending how you count “ungainful employment as a consultant”. Work places have been Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Woodland, Davis, Houston, Denver. Employers have included Texaco, Carlsberg Petroleum, Great Basins, Champlin, MCOR (McCulloch), Energylog, North Valley, Gary Drilling, Gotland Oil, Carneros Energy and Hobby Energy. Areas of work have included oil or gas fields throughout the U.S.A., but mainly in the basins of California and the Paradox Basin of Utah and Colorado. The paper presented today is due to work that Scott is doing for the Pacific Section AAPG. The group is planning to publish a C.D. on geological contributions on the Sacramento Basin. Scott started to work on a paper on the deepest wells drilled in the basin, and became intrigued with the deepest one. This led to discussions with his great friend Al Almgren, who provided him with paleo data on the deep well. The results of the study will be discussed with the group. The talk was first presented at the join Rocky Mountain AAPG and Pacific Section AAPG meeting in Las Vegas in October 2016.
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