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New Mexico Petroleum Source Rock Database

Digital Database Series-Database: DDS DB2 ($10.00 CD-ROM)
by: Ronald F. Broadhead1, Maureen Wilks1, Matthew Morgan2, and Roy E. Johnson3

1New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, a Division of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, Socorro NM 87801
2present address: Colorado Geological Survey, Denver CO 80203
3New Mexico Oil Conservation Division of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department, Santa Fe NM 87504


This computerized database of source rock analyses contains data on 133 petroleum exploration wells in New Mexico, two outcrop sections in New Mexico, and one petroleum exploration well in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico (Fig. 1, Table 1). There are analyses of 3412 samples from these wells and outcrops. For each sampled interval from a well or outcrop section, there is information on up to 44 data fields that describes the location and geology of the sampled interval as well as source rock parameters. The source rock database is presented in Microsoft Access format, v. 2.0, 7.0, and 97, in spreadsheet format in Microsoft Excel v. 5.0, and comma-delimited realtional ASCII format.

This computerized database of petroleum source rock analyses has its origins in open-file reports of the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources. These open-file reports contain source-rock analyses on 133 significant petroleum exploration wells drilled throughout New Mexico, two outcrop sections in southwestern New Mexico, and one significant petroleum exploration well drilled in the northern part of the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. Most of these open-file reports contain data on one well, but a few reports contain data on several wells.

This series of open-file reports dates back to the middle 1970’s when source-rock data on several key wildcat wells were donated to the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources by several oil companies for purposes of placing them in the Bureau’s publicly accessible open-file system. A Bureau of Geology project to analyze source rocks in southwestern New Mexico also started at about this time. These valuable data allowed explorationists for the first time to pool together the analyses of many operators in order to begin development of a comprehensive statewide picture of petroleum source-rocks. We are indebted to the donors for their generosity and willingness to share proprietary information. We are also indebted to PEMEX (Petroleos Mexicanos) for sharing their source rock data from the PEMEX No. 1 Chinos well of northern Chihuahua state. Many of the analyses were made by private companies on well samples (cuttings) reposited at the Bureau’s New Mexico Library of Subsurface Data. In return for allowing analyses to be run on our archived samples, presentation of the data as open-file reports in the public domain was required.

Figure 1. Petroleum exploration wells and outcrop sections in New Mexico with petroleum source rock data presented in this database. Well numbers refer to Table 1.

Table 1. Petroleum exploration wells and outcrop sections with petroleum source rock data in this database. See Fig.1 for geographic distribution of wells.
Number on Fig. 1 Operator, Well no.,and Lease LocationSec.-Township-Range, County API Number
1 Delhi Oil Corp.No. 4 Ute 10-32N-14W, San Juan 30-045-11479
2 AmeradaNo. 1 Navajo Tract 20 31-29N-17W, San Juan 30-045-50774
3 TexacoNo. 1 Navajo AL 28-26N-18W, San Juan 30-045-05681
4 Skelly Oil Co.No. 1 Navajo O 34-26N-14W, San Juan 30-045-05609
5 Shell Oil Co.No. 2 17 Carson Unit 17-25N-11W, San Juan 30-045-05361
6 Tenneco OilNo. 1 Pah 3-25N-11W, San Juan 30-045-20995
7 Apache Corp.No. 1 Foshay 9-23N-13W, San Juan 30-045-20958
8 Sun Oil Co.No. 1 Navajo Lands 25-22N-9W, San Juan 30-045-20734
9 Pan American PetroleumNo. 1 Pagosa Jicarilla 23-32N-3W, Rio Arriba 30-039-08005
10 El Paso Natural GasNo. 50 San Juan 29-5 7-29N-5W, Rio Arriba 30-039-07658
11 ConocoNo. 1 South Dulce 6-28N-2W, Rio Arriba 30-039-07423
12 Merrion Oil & GasNo. 1 Arena Blanca 36-20N-5W, McKinley 30-031-20883
13 James P. DuniganNo. 1 Santa Fe 31-19N-5W, McKinley 30-031-20292
14 Champlin PetroleumNo. 1 Mesa Alta Federal 9-18N-8W, McKinley 30-031-20828
15 Great Western DrillingNo. 1 Hospah 1-17N-9W, McKinley 30-031-05193
16 Marshall DrillingNo. 1 Beal-Miller 3-15N-19W, McKinley 30-031-05079
17 Richfield OilNo. 1 Drought Booth 4-15N-6W, McKinley 30-031-05000
18 Superior OilNo. 1 14 San Mateo 14-14N-8W, McKinley 30-031-05030
19 Cities ServiceNo. 1 Zuni 5-9N-18W, McKinley 30-031-05011
20 Gulf OilNo. 1 Gallo Canyon 26-23N-6W, Sandoval 30-043-20684

21 Union OilNo. 1 M-13 USA 13-21N-5W, Sandoval 30-043-20067
22 El Paso Natural GasNo. 1 Elliott State 36-19N-2W, Sandoval 30-043-05102
23 Magnolia PetroleumNo. 1 Hutchinson Federal 14-19N-3W, Sandoval 30-043-05111
24 Brinkerhoff DrillingNo. 1 Cabezon Government 7-17N-3W, Sandoval 30-043-05030
25 Shell Oil Co.No. 41 Wright 26-17N-3W, Sandoval 30-043-05026
26 Continental Oil Co.No. 1 L-Bar 2-13N-4W, Sandoval 30-043-05010
27 TexacoNo. 1 Howard Major 10-13N-3W, Sandoval 30-043-07001
28 Austra-TexNo. 1 Rio Puerco Federal 7-12N-2W, Sandoval 30-043-20818
29 Shell Oil Co.No. 1 Santa Fe 18-13N-3E, Sandoval 30-043-20094
30 Austra-TexNo. 1 Exxon Mineral 23-12N-4W, Cibola 30-006-20007
31 Sun Oil Co.No. 1 Acoma Pueblo 2-7N-7W, Cibola 30-061-07031
32 KeradamexSM-32-1 Mineral Test 32-13N-8W, Cibola Keradamex
33 Refiners PetroleumNo. 1 White Ridge 7-6N-3W, Valencia 30-061-20003
34 Reese & JonesNo. 1 Tecolote 8-6N-3W, Valencia 30-061-20007
35 Shell Oil Co.No. 1 Laguna Wilson Trust 8-9N-1W, Bernalillo 30-001-20001
36 Cambridge and NailNo. 1 Santa Fe Pacific 19-4N-9W, Catron 30-003-20012
37 Transocean OilNo. 1 Turner SFPRR 31-3N-9W, Catron 30-003-20002
38 Transocean OilNo. 1 State 2111 12-2N-18W, Catron 30-003-20004
39 Claude HuckleberryNo. 1 Federal 11-12N-16W, Catron 30-003-60001

40 Tenneco OilNo. 1 Federal 35-1S-13W, Catron 30-003-20001
41 Sun Oil Co.No. 1 San Augustine Plains Unit 29-3S-9W, Catron 30-003-05002
42 Hunt Oil Co.No. 1 16 State 16-3S-13W, Catron 30-003-20018
43 Transocean OilNo. 1 Major SFPRR 27-4N-6W, Socorro 30-053-20006
44 Transocean OilNo. 1 Henderson SFPRR 35-1N-6W, Socorro 30-053-20005
45 James K. AndersonNo. 1 Wishbone Federal 1-4S-3E, Socorro 30-053-20010
46 Virgle LandrethNo. 1 Panhandle A 28-4S-6E, Socorro 30-053-20002
47 Virgle LandrethNo. 1 Panhandle 23-4S-6E, Socorro 30-053-20001
48 Sun Oil Co.No. 1 Bingham State 23-5S-5E, Socorro 30-053-11000
49 Sun Oil Co.No. 1 Victoria Land & Cattle Co. 25-10S-1W, Sierra 30-051-00003
50 Thomas J. GartlandNo. 1 Brister 8-12S-4W, Sierra 30-051-00007
51 Getty Oil Co.No. 1 West Elephant Butte Federal 7-12S-4W, Sierra 30-051-20009
52 Getty Oil Co.No. 2 West Elephant Butte Federal 3-13S-4W, Sierra 30-051-20008
53 Gulf Oil Corp.No. 1 Sierra State K 35-12S-1W, Sierra 30-051-20001
54 Shell Oil Co.No. 1 Leeman Federal 17-3S-1E, Sierra 30-051-00001
55 Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co.No. 1 Federal M 23-15S-2W, Sierra 30-051-00002
56 Exxon Corp.No. 1 Prisor Unit Federal 20-16S-1E, Sierra 30-051-20006
57 Marshall Young Oil Co.No. 1 Saltys Unit 33-25S-15W, Grant 30-017-20002
58 Cockrell Corp.No. 1 Coyote State 14-25S-16W, Grant 30-017-20001
59 Cockrell Corp.No. 1 Pyramid Federal 31-24S-19W, Hidalgo 30-023-20001
60 KCMNo. 1 Cochise State A 18-28S-17W, Hidalgo 30-023-20006
61 Hachita Dome Inc.No. 1 Tidball Berry Federal 12-30S-15W, Hidalgo 30-023-60000

62 Cockrell Corp.No. 1 Playas 14 14-30S-17W, Hidalgo 30-023-20003
63 Humble Oil & RefiningNo. 1 State BA 25-32S-16W, Hidalgo 30-023-60007
64 Arco Oil & GasNo. 1 Fitzpatrick 10-33S-20W, Hidalgo 30-023-20009
65 Big Hatchet Mountains,New Well Peak section 31S-14W, Hidalgo Outcrop 1
66 Big Hatchet Mountains,Mescal Canyon section 30S-15W, Hidalgo Outcrop 2
67 Marshall Young Oil Co.No. 1 Bisbee Hills 11-26S-11W, Luna 30-029-20014
68 Sycor NewtonNo. 1 State L-6350 10-23S-11W, Luna 30-029-20003
69 Guest & WolfsomNo. 1 Diana 16-23S-11W, Luna 30-029-20004
70 Cockrell Corp.No. 1 State 1349 7-23S-10W, Luna 30-029-20001
71 Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co.No. 1 Federal R 27-28S-5W, Luna 30-029-60001
72 Skelly Oil Co.No. 1 State C 19-28S-5W, Luna 30-029-60003
73 Cities ServiceNo. 1 Corralitos Federal A 6-22S-2W, Dona Ana 30-013-20002
74 Sinclair Oil & GasNo. 1 Federal 18 27-22S-1W, Dona Ana 30-013-60004
75 Pure Oil Co.No. 1 Federal H 24-28S-2W, Dona Ana 30-013-60003
76 Grimm et al.No. 1 Mobil 32 32-25S-1E, Dona Ana 30-013-20003
77 Phillips PetroleumNo. 1 Sunland Park Unit 4-27S-1E, Dona Ana 30-013-20006
78 Houston Oil & MineralsNo. 1 Lewelling 12-19S-9E, Otero 30-035-20010
79 Houston Oil & MineralsNo. 2 Lewelling 10-12S-9E, Otero 30-035-20015
80 Southern Production Co.No. 1 Cloudcroft Unit 5-17S-12E, Otero 30-035-00002
81 Marathon Oil Co.No. 1 Mesa Verde Ranch 35-18S-14E, Otero 30-035-20022
82 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 1 Dog Canyon YF Federal 15-18S-15E, Otero 30-035-20024

83 Plymouth Oil Co.No. 1 Federal 15-20S-9E, Otero 30-035-00003
84 Santa Fe EnergyNo. 1 Rohmer 23-22S-27E, Eddy 30-015-25722
85 Standard of TexasNo. 1 Lillian Coll 10-16S-31E, Eddy 30-015-04839
86 Pure Oil Co.No. 1 Red Hills 32-25S-33E, Lea 30-025-21036
87 Phillips PetroleumNo. 6 Leamex 23-17S-33E, Lea 30-025-01515
88 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 1 One Tree Unit 18-18S-16E, Chaves 30-005-62259
89 Gulf Oil Corp.No. 1 Chaves State U 10-18S-16E, Chaves 30-005-20001
90 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 1 Little Cuevo Unit 20-17S-18E, Chaves 30-005-61785
91 McClellan Oil Corp.No. 1 McClellan-White Federal 9-4S-27E, Chaves 30-005-00216
92 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 1 Kidd ZF Federal 26-1N-26E, De Baca 30-011-20046
93 Abercrombie & HawkinsNo. 1 Nappier 22-5N-26E, De Baca 30-011-60028
94 Marshall Pipe & SupplyNo. 1 Soltenberg 26-2S-29E, Roosevelt 30-041-20809
95 Cities ServiceNo. 1 Ridley A 4-2S-33E, Roosevelt 30-041-20661
96 Franklin, Aston & FairNo. 1 Green Estate 10-5N-32E, Curry 30-009-60002
97 Union Producing Co.No. 1 Jones 18-5N-37E, Curry 30-009-65020
98 Amoco Production Co.No. 1 Blackburn Farms 10-6N-27E, Quay 30-037-20016
99 StanolindNo. 1 J.W. Fuller 25-8N-30E, Quay 30-037-05024
100 Baker & TaylorNo. 1 State 10 10-9N-29E, Quay 30-037-20034
101 Amoco Production Co.No. 1 Baker 29-9N-30E, Quay 30-037-20013
102 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 1 T-4 Cattle Company 5-10N-27E, Quay 30-037-20029
103 Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co.No. 1 Briscoe 31-10N-30E, Quay 30-037-05002

104 Sunray Mid-Continent Oil Co.No. 1 R. Padilla 4-8N-19E, Guadalupe 30-019-05078
105 General Crude Oil Co.No. 1 State 2-8N-23E, Guadalupe 30-019-05082
106 Husky Oil Co.& General Crude Oil Co.No. 1 Hanchett State 16-8N-24E, Guadalupe 30-019-05079
107 Trans Pecos ResourcesNo. 1 Latigo Ranch A 2-9N-23E, Guadalupe 30-019-20077
108 Trans Pecos ResourcesNo. 1 Latigo Ranch C 4-9N-23E, Guadalupe 30-019-20075
109 General Crude Oil Co.No. 1 Simpson 21-10N-23E, Guadalupe 30-019-05075
110 Morris B. JonesNo. 1 Blue Quail Energy Addison 13-2N-7E, Torrance 30-057-20009
111 MAR Oil & GasNo. 1 Estes 35-5N-8E, Torrance 30-057-20026
112 Witt Ice Co.No. 1 Meadows 23-6N-7E, Torrance 30-057-05002
113 Orville J. LeeNo. 1 Milburn 36-7N-7E, Torrance 30-057-20022
114 OlsenNo. 1 Means 27-7N-9E, Torrance 30-057-05112
115 Gardner Petroleum Corp.No. 1 Kidwell 21-6N-10E, Torrance 30-057-05118
116 Houston Oil & MineralsNo. 14 28 Federal 28-6N-10E, Torrance 30-057-20003
117 Superior Oil Co.No. 1 Blackwell 31-6N-11E, Torrance 30-057-05001
118 Bar-S-Bar RanchNo. 1 Fee 23-12N-10E, Santa Fe 30-049-20001
119 Trans Ocean OilNo. 1 McKee 4-13N-9E, Santa Fe 30-049-20005
120 Chace OilNo. 1 Pinon 31-14N-8E, Santa Fe 30-049-20024
121 Yates Petroleum Corp.No. 2 La Mesa 24-17N-8E, Santa Fe 30-049-20028
122 Castle & WigzellNo. 1 Kelly Federal 11-20N-9E, Santa Fe 30-049-05001
123 J.D. HancockNo. 1 Sedberry 25-17N-16E, San Miguel 30-047-20003
124 Miami Petroleum Corp.No. 3 Hoover Ranch 25-13N-26E, San Miguel 30-047-05089

125 Baker & Taylor DrillingNo. 1 T-4 Cattle Company 7-11N-27E, San Miguel 30-047-20028
126 Puretex OilNo. 1 Frank Chappell Jr. 13-12N-29E, San Miguel 30-047-20005
127 Tom L. IngramNo. 1 Gihon 31 31-13N-30E, San Miguel 30-047-20033
128 Amoco Production Co.No. 1 Salman Ranch 3-20N-17E, Mora 30-033-20053
129 Continental Oil Co.No. 1 Mores-Duran 14-23N-17E, Mora 30-033-05005
130 True Oil Co.No. 21 Medina 25-24N-16E, Colfax 30-007-20065
131 Continental Oil Co.No. 1 Maxwell Land Grant 11-28N-22E, Colfax 30-007-05015
132 Odessa Natural Corp.No. 3 W.S. Ranch 24-29N-19E, Colfax 30-007-20005
133 Continental Oil Co.No. 3 St. Louis & Rocky Mountain Pacific 18-30N-22E, Colfax 30-007-07029
134 Continental Oil Co.No. 2 Federal Land Bank 2-24N-36E, Union 30-059-05003
135 TexacoNo. 1 Cruz 14-29N-36E, Union 30-059-05005

The New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources Petroleum Source-Rock Project was started in 1987. Drill cuttings from approximately 50 exploration wells were analyzed for source rock characteristics. Four fundamental analyses were performed on each sample (total organic carbon; kerogen type by visual microscopic analysis; kerogen maturity by visual microscopic analysis; and source-rock maturity and character as determined by Rock-Eval pyrolysis). In an effort to maintain consistency among analyses, one commercial analytical laboratory (Geochem Laboratories, Inc. of Houston) was chosen by competitive bid to perform all of the analyses. Approximately $68,000 was obtained from private industry and state government to fund these analyses (see Appendix A for a list of financial contributors to the Source Rock Project). A team of geologists from private industry and the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources carefully selected the wells and depth intervals that were analyzed ( see Appendix B for a list of these workers). Also, some of the previously donated reports have analyses for only one or two variables (e.g. total organic carbon) or present analyses different from those used in the source-rock project (e.g. chromatographic analyses of cuttings headspace gas). Because of these differences in quality and types of data among reports, workers may wish to examine individual open-file reports for wells in which they have a particularly keen interest; analyses may be present which are not presented in this database. Also, many of the reports contain graphical data presentations which are not made available in this database.


The New Mexico Petroleum Source Rock Database is provided to you as is and without warranties or liabilities for any damages incurred from the use of or reference to this database. The New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources and its parent organization the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology, the authors of this Database, and providers of the data contained within this Database make no warranty or representation, express or implied, with respect to the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information contained in this Database or assume any liability with respect to the use or interpretation of any information contained in this Database.


3.1 Microsoft Access 2.0, Access 7.0, or Access 97 users

  • Open Access database.
  • Click on File.
  • Click on Open Database.
  • Select CD ROM drive.
  • Click on either Access2.0, 7.0, or 97 directory.
  • Select NMSR.
  • Click OK. This will open the entire database.

3.2 Microsoft Excel 5.0 users

  • Open Excel.
  • Click on File.
  • Click on Open.
  • Select the CD ROM drive.
  • Select the Excel5 directory.
  • There are two Excel files, Header.xls and Sourcerk.xls. Click on either to open.

3.3 Delimited relational ASCII users

  • Open File Manager or Windows Explorer.
  • Select the CD ROM drive.
  • Select the Delimited directory. There are 2 files in this directory, Header.txt and Sourcerk.txt.
  • Double click on either the Header.txt or Sourcerk.txt file to open it.


There are two tables in the database, Header and Sourcerk. The data fields contained within this database are described below. The data fields chosen for inclusion in this database were obtained from the analyses made for the New Mexico Petroleum Source Rock Project. Limitations on data availability, which include data not calculated, not measured, not collected, or proprietary, have imposed a wide range of data completeness for each well or outcrop section. These limitations apply especially to source rock reports donated by private industry. If you have source rock data that does not appear in this database we hope you will consider sharing those data with us for dissemination as a Bureau open-file report and for inclusion in future versions of this database.

4.1 Header Table - Data fields

  • API Number: the unique ten digit number assigned to the well, according to the well numbering system devised by the American Petroleum Institute. For outcrop sections, mineral test holes, and for the PEMEX well, an alphanumeric designation unique to this report was devised to identify the well or outcrop section.
  • Well Number: the number assigned to the well in Fig. 1 and Table 1 in this document.
  • Operator: the name of the operator or driller of the well. For outcrop sections, the general locality of the outcrop is used.
  • Lease Name: the name of the landowner or locality name used to describe the lease. For outcrop sections, the name of the measured section is used (e.g. New Well Peak section).
  • Lease Well Number: the number of the well in the lease. Blank for outcrop sections.
  • Township: the township the well is located in, referenced as north (N) or south (S) of the New Mexico regional base line. For outcrop sections, the location of the base or the dominant part of the section is used.
  • Range: the range the well is located in, referenced as east (E) or west (W) of the New Mexico Principal Meridian. For outcrop sections, the location of the base or the dominant part of the section is used.
  • Section: the section number the well or the base of outcrop section is located in. This field is blank for measured outcrop sections that occupy a large area.State: the state the well or section is located in, usually New Mexico (NM), but Chihuahua (CH) for the PEMEX well.
  • County: the county the well or outcrop section is located in.
  • Elevation: the elevation, in feet, of the well. This is usually the elevation of either the Kelly bushing, but may be the elevation of ground surface if the elevation of the Kelly bushing was not available. Blank for outcrop sections.
  • Total Depth: total depth of the well, in feet.
  • Basin, uplift, area: the basin, uplift, or other geologically defined area the well or outcrop section is located in.
  • Open file number.: The number of the open-file report(s) at the New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources from which the data for the well or outcrop section were obtained.

4.2 Sourcerk Table - Data fields

  • API Number: see section 4.1, Header Table - Data fields, for a description of this field. The API Number field links data on a particular sample to the data in the Header Table where information can be found on the well name, location, total depth, etc.
  • Top: For wells, this is the depth to the top of the sampled interval, in feet. For outcrop sections, this is the vertical distance in feet of the sample location above the base of the section. When more than one sample has been analyzed from a given depth, a number to the right of the decimal point is used to differentiate samples (e.g. 4283.1, 4283.2, etc.).
  • Bottom: For wells, this is the depth in feet to the base of the sampled interval. Blank for outcrop sections.
  • System: The geologic system of the sampled strata. If the sample is from the Precambrian, then the term Precambrian is used here in place of a system name. A time-rock unit.
  • Series: The geologic series of the sampled strata, if known. A time-rock unit.
  • Group: The geologic group of the sampled strata. A lithostratigraphic unit. Only the geographic part of the group name is used. Only formally defined names are used.
  • Formation: The geologic formation of the sampled strata. A lithostratigraphic unit. Only the geographic part of the formational name is entered. Only formally defined names are used. Some lithostratigraphic units have formational rank in one part of the state and group rank in other parts of the state. An example of this is the Madera, which is the Madera Group in the Manzano and Sandia Mountains of central New Mexico and the Madera Formation (of the Magdalena Group) in most other parts of the state. Lithostratigraphic rank in this report is consistent with formally-defined local usage. Also, some workers assign formational status to a name while other workers assign group status to a name in the same area (e.g. Montoya Group vs. Montoya Formation). Because of these problems with nomenclature, users who search the database using group names may wish search both the "Group" and the "Formation" data fields for the name of the lithostratigraphic unit.
  • Member: The geologic member of the sampled strata. In this database, informal nomenclature is used where established by long-time usage in the subsurface.
  • Zone: The term zone is used in an informal lithostratigraphic sense in this report to incorporate commonly used stratigraphic terminology not appropriate for other data fields.
  • Sandstone %: The percentage of sandstone in the analyzed sample.
  • Limestone %: The percentage of limestone in the analyzed sample.
  • Dolostone %: The percentage of dolostone in the analyzed sample.
  • Shale %: The percentage of shale or mudstone in the analyzed sample.
  • Other %: The percentage of other lithologies (e.g. schist) in the analyzed sample.
  • Description: Brief description of other lithologies (other %, see above) in the analyzed sample or description of lithology where percentages are not available.
  • TOC %: Percentage of total organic carbon (by weight) in the sample.
  • Algal %: The amount of algal material as a percentage of total kerogen. Determined from visual analysis of the concentrated kerogen fraction. Algal kerogen is generally regarded as being "oil prone" and may generate both oil and gas upon maturation.
  • Amorphous %: The amount of amorphous or nonstructured kerogen as a percentage of total kerogen. Determined by visual analysis of the concentrated kerogen fraction. Amorphous kerogen is generally regarded as being "oil prone" and may generate both oil and gas upon maturation.
  • Herbaceous %: The amount of herbaceous kerogen (i.e. membranous plant materials) as a percentage of total kerogen. Determined from visual analysis of the concentrated kerogen fraction. Herbaceous kerogen is generally regarded as "oil prone" and may generate both oil and gas upon maturation. For the analyses run by Robertson Research (open-file report 344), this column is the percentage of exinite in the sample.
  • Woody %: The amount of woody kerogen as a percentage of total kerogen. Determined by visual analysis of the concentrated kerogen fraction. Woody kerogen is thought to generate primarily gas upon maturation. For the analyses run by Robertson Research (open-file report 344), this column is the percentage of vitrinite in the sample.
  • Inertinite %: The amount of inert, black opaque kerogen as a percentage of total kerogen. Determined by visual analysis of the concentrated kerogen fraction. Inertinite is thought to be incapable of generating significant quantities of hydrocarbons in most cases. In some mature source rocks, inertinite may be spent kerogen that has yielded hydrocarbons in the past but is now mature or overmature and is incapable of producing additional hydrocarbons.
  • Maturation: The level of thermal maturation of the sample determined from either visual analysis of kerogen or vitrinite reflectance according to Table 2. For this report, maturation has not been determined from pyrolysis data (TMAX and the Productivity Index, PI) because of uncertainties and other difficulties resulting from pyrolysis techniques (see Peters, 1986 and the discussion of the S1 peak below).

Table 2. Correlation of maturation parameters with zones of hydrocarbon generation. Based on Geochem Laboratories, Inc. (1980), Sentfle and Landis (1991), and Peters (1986).

Maturation level(products generated) Visual kerogenThermal Alteration Index (TAI) Vitrinite reflectanceRo Rock-EvalTMAX (oC)
Immature(biogenic gas) 1.0-1.7 <0.45  
Moderately immature(biogenic gas and immature oil) 1.8-2.1 0.45-0.6 <435
Moderately mature(immature oil) 2.2-2.5 0.6-0.8  
Mature(mature oil) 2.6-3.5 0.9-1.7 435-470
Very mature(condensate, wet gas, petrogenic dry gas) 3.6-4.1 1.8-2.4  
Severely altered(petrogenic methane) 4.2-4.9 2.5-4.0+ >470
Metamorphosed 5.0    
  • TAI (Geochem): The Thermal Alteration Index of the sample as determined by visual analysis of the kerogen. As kerogen becomes thermally mature, it changes in color from yellow to orange to brown to black (see Table 2 above). This is the numerical maturation index determined by Geochem Laboratories in the analyses done for the New Mexico Petroleum Source Rock Evaluation Project or by other laboratories in reports donated to the Bureau.
  • TAI (equiv): An inferred value of the Thermal Alteration Index, determined from vitrinite reflectance (Ro) measurements. For this report, the correlation of TAI to Ro given in the Geochem Laboratories handbook (Table 2) has been utilized to determine TAI from vitrinite reflectance measurements. Use of scales other than that given in the Geochem Laboratories handbook may result in somewhat different determinations of TAI and thermal maturity of source rocks.
  • Ro: The vitrinite reflectance (in oil) of the vitrinite population of a source rock. Vitrinite is a type of woody kerogen. The higher the percentage of incident light that is reflected by the vitrinite, the higher the thermal maturity. Ro was not determined for analyses performed as part of the Petroleum Source Rock Project, but is a measurement commonly found in donated source rock reports and is a well established and effective means of determining thermal maturation. Determination of Ro requires more sample volume than was available in most wells analyzed as part of the Petroleum Source Rock Project.
  • TMAX: the temperature, in degrees C, at which the S2 peak (see below) reaches its maximum during Rock-Eval pyrolysis. TMAX can be used to estimate thermal maturity, but has not been used for this purpose in this database because correlation with TAI and Ro is difficult and uncertain and because TMAX is not generally as good an indicator of maturity as TAI and Ro. If TMAX values from different samples are to be compared, the same instrument should be used to analyze all samples (see Peters, 1986 for a discussion of evaluating thermal maturity with pyrolysis techniques).
  • S1: Free hydrocarbons evolved (as the S1 peak) during pyrolysis, determined as milligrams of evolved hydrocarbons per gram of rock. The S1 value is a function of the amount of hydrocarbons that have been generated in a source rock but have not been expelled. Caution should be taken when using the S1 values given in this database because most of the analyses reported in this database were made on cuttings that resided in storage for lengthy periods (in some cases, more than 30 years) before the analyses were made. The more volatile fractions of free hydrocarbons in the source rock may have escaped during the storage period, rendering the S1 value less than what a freshly drilled sample would yield.
  • S2: Residual hydrocarbons evolved (as the S2 peak) during pyrolysis, determined as milligrams of evolved hydrocarbon per gram of rock. The S2 value is a function of the remaining generative potential of the rock.
  • S3: CO2 produced (as the S3 peak) during pyrolysis from oxygen-containing functional groups in the kerogen, determined as milligrams CO2 evolved per gram of rock.
  • PI: the pyrolysis-derived Productivity Index, = S1/(S1+S2). Because the S1 value may be questionable for samples that were in storage for a long time prior to analysis, the Productivity Index should be used with care.
  • HI: the pyrolysis-derived Hydrogen Index, equal to the milligrams of evolved hydrocarbon per gram of organic carbon in the sample.
  • OI: the pyrolysis-derived Oxygen Index, equal to milligrams of evolved CO2 per gram of organic carbon in the sample.


The Database is presented in Microsoft Access v. 2.0, 7.0, and 97 formats as well as in spreadsheet form in Excel v. 5.0 format and in comma-delimited relational ASCII format. In Access formats, the database can be searched and sorted by normal Microsoft Access search and sort techniques. Two data tables have been used for data entry. The "Header" table contains pertinent information about each well and outcrop section such as well or section name, location, surface elevation (for wells), etc. The "Source rock" table contains all source rock and lithologic information for all samples for each well listed in the Header table; data in the Source rock table are linked to data in the Header table by the API number of the well (or the equivalent code for outcrop sections). We have also presented selected data as three commonly requested table formats ("forms"). One form ("Full well form") presents all data for each well as a standardized report form that can be easily printed out on your computer. A second form ("Visual kerogen form") presents those data for a well that are derived from visual kerogen analyses, as well as other pertinent data such as API number, lease name and operator, and location data (section, township, range, county). A third form ("Pyrolysis form") presents those data for a well that are derived from Rock-Eval or other pyrolytic analyses. The three accompanying subforms were created from the source rock table to produce the main forms described above. Data searches can be output in any of these standardized table formats as well as in any table formats that the user wishes to design for him/herself.


  1. Geochem Laboratories, Inc., 1980, Source rock evaluation reference manual: Geochem Laboratories, Inc., Houston, pages not consecutively numbered.
  2. Peters, K.E., 1986, Guidelines for evaluating petroleum source rock using programmed pyrolysis: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Bulletin, v. 70, pp. 318-329.
  3. Sentfle, J.T., and Landis, C.R., 1991, Vitrinite reflectance as a tool to assess thermal maturity; in Merrill, R.K., (ed.), Source rock and migration processes and evaluation techniques: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Treatise of petroleum geology, Handbook of petroleum geology, pp. 119-125.



  1. Amoco Production Co.
  2. Bass Enterprises Production Co.
  3. Benson-Montin-Greer Drilling Corp.
  4. BHP Petroleum
  5. Black Oil Inc.
  6. Coastal Oil & Gas Corp.
  7. Conoco Inc.
  8. E.P. Operating Co.
  9. Leonard Minerals Co.
  10. Meridian Oil Corp.
  11. Merrion Oil & Gas Corp.
  12. Mobil Producing Texas and New Mexico Inc.
  13. New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources, a Division of New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology
  14. New Mexico Energy Research and Development Institute at New Mexico State University
  15. New Mexico Oil Conservation Division of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
  16. Phillips Petroleum Co.
  17. Santa Fe Energy Co.
  18. Shell Western E&P Inc.
  19. Sohio
  20. Standard Oil Production Company
  21. Sun Exploration & Production Co.
  22. Tenneco Oil Co.
  23. Texas Oil & Gas Corp.
  24. 24. TXO Production Corp.


(affiliations are those as of project commencement)

Project Managers

  • Roy E. Johnson, New Mexico Oil Conservation Division of New Mexico Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department
  • Ron Broadhead, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources
  • Sam Thompson III, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources

Northwest New Mexico Committee

  • Bruce Black, Black Oil, Inc. (Committee Chairman)
  • Doug Endsley, Merrion Oil & Gas Corp.
  • Peter Groth, Amoco Production Co.
  • Tom Hemborg, Tenneco Oil Co.
  • Jim Hornbeck, Meridian Oil Corp.

Northeast New Mexico Committee

  • Ron Broadhead, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources (Committee Chairman)
  • Martin J. Davidson, North Texas State University, Independent Oil & Gas Operator
  • Ben Donegan, Leonard Minerals Co.
  • George L. Scott, Jr., Scott Exploration

Southeast New Mexico Committee

  • Arthur L. Bowsher, Yates Petroleum Corp. (Committee Chairman)
  • Curt Anderson, Santa Fe Energy
  • William Hood, Amoco Production Co.
  • Nat Subramanian, Sun Oil Co.

Southwest New Mexico Committee

  • Sam Thompson III, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources (Committee Chairman)


  • Robert A. Bieberman, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources
  • Roy W. Foster, Consulting Geologist
  • Frank E. Kottlowski, New Mexico Bureau of Mines and Mineral Resources

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