ANOMALOUSLY PRESSURED GAS DISTRIBUTION IN THE WIND RIVER BASIN, WYOMING

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Anomalously pressured gas (APG) assets, typically called ''basin-center'' gas accumulations, represent either an underdeveloped or undeveloped energy resource in the Rocky Mountain Laramide Basins (RMLB). Historically, the exploitation of these gas resources has proven to be very difficult and costly. In this topical report, an improved exploration strategy is outlined in conjunction with a more detailed description of new diagnostic techniques that more efficiently detect anomalously pressured, gas-charged domains. The ability to delineate gas-charged domains occurring below a regional velocity inversion surface allows operators to significantly reduce risk in the search for APG resources. The Wind River Basin was chosen ... continued below

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27 pages

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Surdam, Ronald C. March 31, 2003.

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Description

Anomalously pressured gas (APG) assets, typically called ''basin-center'' gas accumulations, represent either an underdeveloped or undeveloped energy resource in the Rocky Mountain Laramide Basins (RMLB). Historically, the exploitation of these gas resources has proven to be very difficult and costly. In this topical report, an improved exploration strategy is outlined in conjunction with a more detailed description of new diagnostic techniques that more efficiently detect anomalously pressured, gas-charged domains. The ability to delineate gas-charged domains occurring below a regional velocity inversion surface allows operators to significantly reduce risk in the search for APG resources. The Wind River Basin was chosen for this demonstration because of the convergence of public data availability (i.e., thousands of mud logs and DSTs and 2400 mi of 2-D seismic lines); the evolution of new diagnostic techniques; a 175 digital sonic log suite; a regional stratigraphic framework; and corporate interest. In the exploration scheme discussed in this topical report, the basinwide gas distribution is determined in the following steps: (1) A detailed velocity model is established from sonic logs, 2-D seismic lines, and, if available, 3-D seismic data. In constructing the seismic interval velocity field, automatic picking technology using continuous, statistically-derived interval velocity selection, as well as conventional graphical interactive methodologies are utilized. (2) Next, the ideal regional velocity/depth function is removed from the observed sonic or seismic velocity/depth profile. The constructed ideal regional velocity/depth function is the velocity/depth trend resulting from the progressive burial of a rock/fluid system of constant rock/fluid composition, with all other factors remaining constant. (3) The removal of the ideal regional velocity/depth function isolates the anomalously slow velocities and allows the evaluation of (a) the regional velocity inversion surface (i.e., pressure surface boundary); (b) detection and delineation of gas-charged domains beneath the velocity inversion surface (i.e., volumes characterized by anomalously slow velocities); and (c) variations within the internal fabric of the velocity anomaly (i.e., variations in gas charge). Using these procedures, it is possible to construct an anomalous velocity profile for an area, or in the case of the Wind River Basin, an anomalous velocity volume for the whole basin. Such an anomalous velocity volume has been constructed for the Wind River Basin based on 1600 mi of 2-D seismic data and 175 sonic logs, for a total of 132,000 velocity/depth profiles. The technology was tested by constructing six cross sections through the anomalous velocity volume coincident with known gas fields. In each of the cross sections, a strong and intense anomalously slow velocity domain coincided with the gas productive rock/fluid interval; there were no exceptions. To illustrate the applicability of the technology, six target areas were chosen from a series of cross sections through the anomalous velocity volume. The criteria for selection of these undrilled target areas were (1) they were characterized by anomalous velocity domains comparable to known gas fields; (2) they had structural, stratigraphic, and temporal elements analogous to one of the known fields; and (3) they were located at least six sonic miles from the nearest known gas field. The next step in the exploration evolution would be to determine if the detected gas-charged domains are intersected by reservoir intervals characterized by enhanced porosity and permeability. If, in any of these targeted areas, the gas-charged domains are penetrated by reservoir intervals with enhanced storage and deliverability, the gas-charged domains could be elevated to drillable prospects. Hopefully, the work described in this report (the detection and delineation of gas-charged domains) will enable operators in the Wind River Basin and elsewhere to reduce risk significantly and increase the rate and magnitude of converting APG resources to energy reserves.

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27 pages

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OSTI as DE00821423

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  • Other Information: PBD: 31 Mar 2003

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: FC26-01NT41325
  • DOI: 10.2172/821423 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 821423
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc738557

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  • March 31, 2003

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 18, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

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  • Jan. 3, 2017, 6:23 p.m.

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Surdam, Ronald C. ANOMALOUSLY PRESSURED GAS DISTRIBUTION IN THE WIND RIVER BASIN, WYOMING, report, March 31, 2003; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc738557/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.