Petroleum and Natural Gas Fields in Wyoming Page: 3
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This report has been prepared to give de-
tailed factual information regarding petro-
leum and natural gas fields in Wyoming. As
the outstanding mineral resources of Wyo-
ming, petroleum and natural gas provide an
impetus to the economy far beyond that indi-
cated by the dollar value of the oil and gas
Wyoming's first oil well was drilled by the
"springpole" method at Dallas dome in 1884,
6 years before the State was admitted to the
Union. Some of this oil was transported in
small steel drums by packmules to the railroad
at Rawlins. Many citizens of Wyoming know
the location of the great oilfields like Salt
Creek, Elk Basin, Garland, Grass Creek, Lost
Soldier, and Lance Creek.. However, very
few, including even those employed in the in-
dustry, can give any details concerning the
many small fields that make up the major part
of the 271 discovered by 1957.
Oil was produced in all but 3 of Wyoming's
23 counties during 1957. The value at the
wells of crude oil produced in the State to
January 1, 1958, is estimated to be $2,757,561,-
Eighteen new oilfields were discovered in
Wyoming during 1957, with new crude-oil
reserves estimated at 166 million barrels.
Wyoming was one of the two major oil-pro-
ducing States where the new crude-oil re-
serves found in 1957 surpassed the amount of
Bureau of Mines Bulletin 418, Petroleum
and Natural-Gas Fields in Wyoming, reported
oil and gas developments in Wyoming before
1938. That bulletin is now out of print; there-
fore much of the material contained therein
has been brought up to date and incorporated
in this report. In so doing much of the inter-
esting historical information regarding the
early oil- and gas-field development of the
State has been retained.
Wyoming has for several years ranked sev-
enth in the Nation in terms of oil produced.
The period from 1938 to 1947 was one in which
drilling was limited to only the best prospects.
The period following 1948 has seen new rec-
ords for drilling and production posted yearly.
The increasing demand for petroleum by the
Nation during this period has encouraged the
growth of Wyoming's oil industry. Comple-
tion of a second large oil pipeline from the
State to the Kansas City and Chicago refining
areas provided transportation for the increas-
ing production of petroleum.
Although more than 280 fields had been
found in Wyoming by the end of 1957, loca-
tions remain that hold promise for future
oilfields. The area of greatest promise is per-
haps the large Green River or Bridger Basin
in the southwestern part of the State.
Geologic names are a necessary part of this
report. Names listed in Federal Geological
Survey Bulletin 896, Lexicon of Geologic
Names of the United States, by M. Grace
Wilmarth, have been used for the most part.
However, in some instances, names that have
local or legal significance have been used or
retained. For example, some operating units
were designated as "Embar unit" years ago,
and all records are recorded in this name.
The term p.s.i. (pounds per square inch) is
used throughout this report to indicate/field
pressures. Old records do not state specifi-
cally that these were gage pressures, although
they most certainly had to be. Absolute pres-
sures are shown by the abbreviation p.s.i.a.
All of Wyoming lies west of the sixth prin-
cipal meridian and north of the baseline for
this meridian. Townships fall between T. 12
N. and T. 58 N., and ranges fall between R. 61
W. and R. 120 W., with the exception of the
Wind River Indian Reservation, which has its
own meridian and baseline. This reservation
is in Fremont County, and the townships range
from T. 2 S. to T. 6 N. and ranges from R. 6
E. and R. 6 W.
For some 271 fields representing most of the
petroleum industry of Wyoming, this report
attempts to show:
1. Where the oil and gas fields are.
2. When these fields were discovered and devel-
3. What zones were productive and how many
wells were drilled.
4. What kind or quality of oil is produced.
5. How much oil and gas have been produced
from each field.
6. How the oil and gas are transported from the
Owing to the size or volume of the report,
no photographs are used.
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Biggs, Paul & Espach, Ralph H. Petroleum and Natural Gas Fields in Wyoming, report, 1960; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc38797/m1/15/: accessed March 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.