Luncheon – July 11, 2012

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Talk: Update on Mancos Shale Prospectivity Study

Speaker: Robert Ressetar, Senior Geologist, Utah Geological Survey

Location: Denver Marriott City Center

Description: Published in the July 2012 Outcrop, p. 12

The Utah Geological Survey, the University of Utah, and Halliburton are at the mid-point of a three-year study of the natural gas prospectivity of the Mancos Shale in the Uinta Basin of Utah, sponsored by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America. Compared to other shale-gas plays in the U.S., the Mancos presents some daunting challenges to drillers, including its thickness (averaging 4000 ft) and its relatively lean TOC. We are using stratigraphic, geophysical, geochemical, and engineering techniques for the purpose of providing the hydrocarbon industry in the basin with additional information to guide drilling strategies. This presentation will be a progress report on the project and will focus on the following:

  1. Log correlations tied to cores and outcrop descriptions are used to develop a sequence stratigraphic model of the Mancos.
  2. XRF and other geochemical analyses of cores define lithofacies and chemofacies that refine the sequence stratigraphic model.
  3. Trend surface analysis of vitrinite reflectance data produces a predictive model of thermal maturity based on elevation and geographic location.