At the intersection of State Highway 350 & FM 1606 in Snyder, Texas is a sign very similar to the one in the title graphic that marks the spot and tells the story of the JJ Moore No. 1 oil well; the first producing oil well in Scurry County, Texas.

In February, 1923 E. I. (Tommy) Thompson, W. W. Lechner and E. E. (Buddy) Fogelson of Loutex Corp., W. A. Reiter located the well. Leon English was field geologist. Drillers were Jesse Thomas, Begossa Murphy, Tom Mann, Charlie Dodson, Sim Taylor. The tool dresser, James O. Jarmon, was the only man working the well from top to bottom. Pat and Mike Moore, the young sons of the landowner, helped to fire the steam roller.

 The drill struck a pressurized reservoir of "cold air" (nitrogen and helium) unique in Texas at that time. It blew mud and water 60 feet above the well head. Soon harnessed, it replaced steam to operate the drilling. It also refrigerated food and water. Completed to 3575 feet and plugged back to 1800 feet in the San Andres formation, the J. J. Moore No. 1 has yielded over 500,000 barrels of oil...

The sign was placed at that spot in 1966 celebrating the discovery and marking the beginning of a long love affair with oil and gas in Scurry County. 

In this post we will fast forward 94 years and get a feel for the pulse of oil and gas in Scurry County to see its current state. So without further adieu…


In the last 5 years there have been 547 wells permitted in Scurry County; 382 vertical and 165 horizontally.

Vertical Wells

Leading the way for vertical wells we have Kinder Morgan with 157 followed by Parallel Petroleum with 73, Unitex Oil with 43 and Apache with 33.


Almost all of Kinder Morgan’s wells were permitted to 7250’ TVD, Parallel was a little deeper at 7500’, Unitex was much shallower with the majority of their wells permitted at 2000’ and Apache ranged from 3600’ to 4100’.  With 80% of all vertical wells represented by these four operators and the diversity of pay zones they are targeting we should garner a great understanding of current exploration models and the geology behind them.


Horizontal Wells

Similarly Kinder Morgan led the way permitting 92 wells, Occidental Permian followed with 27 and Trail Energy in third with 10 wells.


Kinder Morgan stayed in the same formation as their vertical wells and permitted all their wells to 7250’, Occidental had a range of 8000’ to 8500’ and Trail Ridge Energy focused on deeper targets permitting their wells to 9000’

Similar to the vertical wells these three producers were responsible for about 78% of the horizontal wells during the last five years.



There are three formations that were drilled most frequently; the San Andres, the Clearfork and the Cisco/Canyon.

We have spent a lot of time talking about the Clear Fork in previous postings so we will skip this one for brevity.  (See Permian Basin Activity for Lubbock, Crosby and Garza if you missed those.)

The one thing I will say about the Clearfork is that in Scurry County it is targeted 61 times and its targeted depth is listed from 3300’ to 5000’

All of Apache’s wells, some of Parallel and Unitex have targeted the Clearfork.

San Andres

The San Andres/Grayburg interval at Howard Glasscock field is a prograding sequence from open marine to supratidal carbonates that are pervasively dolomitized. (White, 1984)

The dominant reservoir facies is dolomudstone, with scattered areas of oolitic grainstone. (Mooney, 1982; White, 1984)

 Porosity is composed of intercrystalline pores and vugs that are occluded partly by anhydrite (Martin and others, 1997).  Average porosity is 10.5 percent and average permeability is 5 md (5 × 10-3 μm2) (Mooney, 1982)

The San Andres was targeted 38 times; the majority of the wells permitted to this geo-form were from Unitex Oil.

The Cisco/Canyon Reef is a Pennsylvanian and Lower Permian Horseshoe Atoll Carbonate play.  The Kelly Snyder Field alone has produced 1,264,215,085!!!  No, that is not a typo!

The SACROC (Scurry Area Canyon Reef Operators Committee) unit, which incorporates nearly all of Kelly-Snyder field and part of Diamond -M- field, is the largest producing unit of the Horseshoe Atoll play.

The north part of the SACROC unit is depositionally and diagenetically complex (Raines and others, 2001). In this area, the 700-ft-thick (310-m) reservoir column consists of Canyon and Cisco carbonates that change from layered, open-shelf subtidal cycles having minimal diagenetic overprint (lower and mid-Canyon) to high-energy, shoal-related cycles having frequent exposure surfaces (upper Canyon–lower Cisco) and increased evidence of cycle and sequence-scale erosion  (fig. 44) (Kerans, 2001a, b).

Early Cisco deposition was characterized by dramatic changes in depositional style, including growth of pinnacle reefs and formation of complex, fractured, muddy, crinoid-dominated facies that resemble Waulsortian deeper-water buildups. (Wilson, 1975)

Porosity in the SACROC unit ranges from 4.0 to 20.0 percent and averages 9.8 percent; permeability ranges from 1 md to 1,760 md (1 to 1,760 × 10-3 μm2) and averages 19 md (19 × 10-3 μm2) (Wingate, 1996).


Using the only the last 5 years production numbers it should come as no surprise who is at the top of the list.  Kinder Morgan has outpaced everyone with 56,993,840 barrels of oil.

The field that produced the most oil was the Kelly-Snyder field with 56,959,988 barrels.

 Current Drilling

As of the posting of this article there were 4 rigs drilling in Scurry County.  Use the link below to access a live map and click on the operators name to access the data for each well. Change base maps for different views of the same area.


With Kinder Morgan owning an approximate 97% working interest in the SACROC and their ability to develop this mature field through innovative use of seismic data, lateral drilling and advanced conformance techniques, they should stay well ahead of their competition in Scurry County for years to come.