Major Oil Plays In Utah And Vicinity

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Utah oil fields have produced over 1.33 billion barrels (211 million m{sup 3}) of oil and hold 256 million barrels (40.7 million m{sup 3}) of proved reserves. The 13.7 million barrels (2.2 million m3) of production in 2002 was the lowest level in over 40 years and continued the steady decline that began in the mid-1980s. However, in late 2005 oil production increased, due, in part, to the discovery of Covenant field in the central Utah Navajo Sandstone thrust belt ('Hingeline') play, and to increased development drilling in the central Uinta Basin, reversing the decline that began in the mid-1980s. ... continued below

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Chidsey, Thomas December 31, 2007.

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Description

Utah oil fields have produced over 1.33 billion barrels (211 million m{sup 3}) of oil and hold 256 million barrels (40.7 million m{sup 3}) of proved reserves. The 13.7 million barrels (2.2 million m3) of production in 2002 was the lowest level in over 40 years and continued the steady decline that began in the mid-1980s. However, in late 2005 oil production increased, due, in part, to the discovery of Covenant field in the central Utah Navajo Sandstone thrust belt ('Hingeline') play, and to increased development drilling in the central Uinta Basin, reversing the decline that began in the mid-1980s. The Utah Geological Survey believes providing play portfolios for the major oil-producing provinces (Paradox Basin, Uinta Basin, and thrust belt) in Utah and adjacent areas in Colorado and Wyoming can continue this new upward production trend. Oil plays are geographic areas with petroleum potential caused by favorable combinations of source rock, migration paths, reservoir rock characteristics, and other factors. The play portfolios include descriptions and maps of the major oil plays by reservoir; production and reservoir data; case-study field evaluations; locations of major oil pipelines; identification and discussion of land-use constraints; descriptions of reservoir outcrop analogs; and summaries of the state-of-the-art drilling, completion, and secondary/tertiary recovery techniques for each play. The most prolific oil reservoir in the Utah/Wyoming thrust belt province is the eolian, Jurassic Nugget Sandstone, having produced over 288 million barrels (46 million m{sup 3}) of oil and 5.1 trillion cubic feet (145 billion m{sup 3}) of gas. Traps form on discrete subsidiary closures along major ramp anticlines where the depositionally heterogeneous Nugget is also extensively fractured. Hydrocarbons in Nugget reservoirs were generated from subthrust Cretaceous source rocks. The seals for the producing horizons are overlying argillaceous and gypsiferous beds in the Jurassic Twin Creek Limestone, or a low-permeability zone at the top of the Nugget. The Nugget Sandstone thrust belt play is divided into three subplays: (1) Absaroka thrust - Mesozoic-cored shallow structures, (2) Absaroka thrust - Mesozoic-cored deep structures, and (3) Absaroka thrust - Paleozoic-cored shallow structures. Both of the Mesozoic-cored structures subplays represent a linear, hanging wall, ramp anticline parallel to the leading edge of the Absaroka thrust. Fields in the shallow Mesozoic subplay produce crude oil and associated gas; fields in the deep subplay produce retrograde condensate. The Paleozoic-cored structures subplay is located immediately west of the Mesozoic-cored structures subplays. It represents a very continuous and linear, hanging wall, ramp anticline where the Nugget is truncated against a thrust splay. Fields in this subplay produce nonassociated gas and condensate. Traps in these subplays consist of long, narrow, doubly plunging anticlines. Prospective drilling targets are delineated using high-quality, two-dimensional and three-dimensional seismic data, forward modeling/visualization tools, and other state-of-the-art techniques. Future Nugget Sandstone exploration could focus on more structurally complex and subtle, thrust-related traps. Nugget structures may be present beneath the leading edge of the Hogsback thrust and North Flank fault of the Uinta uplift. The Jurassic Twin Creek Limestone play in the Utah/Wyoming thrust belt province has produced over 15 million barrels (2.4 million m{sup 3}) of oil and 93 billion cubic feet (2.6 billion m{sup 3}) of gas. Traps form on discrete subsidiary closures along major ramp anticlines where the low-porosity Twin Creek is extensively fractured. Hydrocarbons in Twin Creek reservoirs were generated from subthrust Cretaceous source rocks. The seals for the producing horizons are overlying argillaceous and clastic beds, and non-fractured units within the Twin Creek. The Twin Creek Limestone thrust belt play is divided into two subplays: (1) Absaroka thrust-Mesozoic-cored structures and (2) Absaroka thrust - Paleozoic-cored structures. The Mesozoic-cored structures subplay represents a linear, hanging wall, ramp anticline parallel to the leading edge of the Absaroka thrust. Fields in this subplay produce crude oil and associated gas. The Paleozoic-cored structures subplay is located immediately west of the Mesozoic-cored structures subplay. It represents a very continuous and linear, hanging wall, ramp anticline where the Twin Creek is truncated against a thrust splay. Fields in this subplay produce nonassociated gas and condensate. Traps in both subplays consist of long, narrow, doubly plunging anticlines.

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  • Report No.: None
  • Grant Number: FC26-02NT15133
  • DOI: 10.2172/948136 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 948136
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902624

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  • December 31, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 29, 2016, 7:17 p.m.

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Chidsey, Thomas. Major Oil Plays In Utah And Vicinity, report, December 31, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902624/: accessed October 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.