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Canyon Granite Wash: Texas Panhandle Play


Just off the far western extension of the Amarillo Uplift and east of the Bravo Dome (Oldham Nose) lies the Paint Ridge field, in the Whittenburg Trough.

It happens to be an emerging field prospective for the Canyon Granite Wash, where Apache and a few other operators have drilled some impressive vertical wells, with plenty of potential for increased exploration and development.

The map below highlights some of the recent activity and location of the field and surrounding area.

Canyon-Granite Wash Wells

The Geology of the Granite Wash

The Missourian series that makes up the Canyon Group is comprised of arkosic clastic and carbonate “wash” sediments that were eroded from the Amarillo Uplift during the mid to late Pennsylvanian. The wash system, more commonly known as the Granite Wash in the Anadarko Basin, drapes around the uplift to the Dalhart and Palo Duro Basins as well. The source beds of oil are most likely Penn shales that are interbedded with the reservoirs. In northeastern Oldham County, the fault system may have provided a hydrocarbon migration route.

Upper Pennsylvanian Section Canyon Granite Wash

The Amarillo Uplift

Let’s compare these Canyon Granite Wash verticals with the Granite Wash verticals on the opposite side of the uplift.

In the chart below I included Spraberry wells from the northern Midland Basin area for additional comparison. I also added the well counts for each play in this particular dataset.

Peak Month Prod Canyon Granite Wash

Production Interval stands out

One interesting observation is that the production interval (the distance from the upper perforation to the lower perforation) is far higher for the Granite Wash wells to the north of the Amarillo Uplift at an average of 448 feet, followed by the Spraberry at 184 feet and finally the Canyon Granite Wash wells at 67 feet (median 20 feet). One could assume that the Granite Wash is thicker in the Anadarko Basin, or perhaps these wells have been commingled with other producing formations that are present in the Anadarko Basin that may not be present in the trough. (Commingling is the practice of perforating and producing multiple reservoirs from a single wellbore.)

Let’s query up the latest permitting activity. The table below shows Canyon Granite Wash permits filed within the past year for Oldham and Potter Counties.


It will be interesting to see how these horizontal wells perform and to see if there will be more commingled wells in the near future. Perhaps Permian strata will hold potential for commingled production with the Canyon.

According the permitted target formation of the wells in the table, the Red Cave (Clear Fork Group) looks to be prospective. Will the Wolfcamp or Cisco series be next?

Your Turn

What do you think? Going forward, what would you expect to see from E&P to the south of the Amarillo uplift? Leave a comment below.

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Matt Menchaca

Matthew Menchaca is a Research Analyst at Drillinginfo. He is a key member of the Data Management Department and the DI Analytics group. He performs industry research, tracks play development and provides various types of analysis on unconventional resource plays in the U.S. Matthew graduated from the University of Texas at Austin in 2010 after studying Geography and Geological Sciences.