Utah Geological Survey Will Fund Five Natural Gas Research Projects in 2005

Title: Utah Geological Survey Will Fund Five Natural Gas Research Projects in 2005
Publication: The Outcrop, February 2005, p. 19-20

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) has selected five research proposals for funding under the UGS “Characterization of Utah’s Natural Gas Reservoirs and Potential New Reserves” program. The program is designed to help (1) improve the state’s assessment of its natural gas resources and future gas resource potential, (2) identify reservoir features, untapped compartments, or recovery techniques to encourage more effective exploitation of proven reserves, and (3) expand the understanding of the depositional history, trapping mechanism, source rocks, and generation/migration of gas to promote exploration for new or untapped gas resources. The research projects began in January and will run through June 2005. The five research projects are:

Paul B. Anderson, consulting geologist, Salt Lake City, Utah, Mesaverde Gas of Southeastern Uinta Basin. Anderson will build on work done by the U.S. Geological Survey and National Energy Technology Lab for the Mesaverde play in the southeastern part of the Uinta Basin, northeastern Utah. Three regional well log cross sections consisting of 30 or more wells that penetrate the entire Mesaverde section will be constructed. The cross sections will contain formational contacts, depositional facies, test results, Ro values (where available), and net sand. Production data will be depicted on maps at 1:100,000 scale showing cumulative and initial potential. These maps will be generated from a database that contains information from the cross section wells, and at least one well per section throughout the entire study area. Additionally, structure contour and isopach maps will be produced for the Mesaverde Group, and small scale maps showing Mesaverde completions each decade to visually show the progress of the play since 1960.

David E. Eby, Logan T. MacMillan, and Richard A. Castle, consulting geologists, Denver, Colorado, Characterization of the Petrology and Mineralogy of the Wasatch-Mesaverde-Mancos Petroleum Systems From Cores and Well Logs Within the Greater Natural Buttes Producing Area, Uinta Basin, Northeastern Utah. Eby, MacMillan, and Castle will conduct one of the first detailed, subsurface reservoir rock studies within the Wasatch-Mesaverde-Mancos petroleum systems of the Uinta Basin. Based on rock core, a composite vertical type section will be developed for the Greater Natural Buttes gas field providing rock-to-wireline log characterization for all productive gas sands that have been cored within the stratigraphic interval. Geophysical log suites of the selected cored wells will be annotated with all pertinent rock description and engineering data. A thorough regime of thin section petrography, SEM, and XRD analysis will be applied to the composite type section. The various stratigraphic horizons in the area around the selected wells with core will be mapped, and a regional cross section will be constructed to place the analyzed core and logs from the type section in a regional stratigraphic framework.

Mark W. Longman, consulting geologist, Lakewood, Colorado, and Randolph J. Koepsell, Schlumberger Oilfield Services, Greenwood Village, Colorado, Defining and characterizing Mesaverde Sandstone Reservoirs Based on Interpretation of Formation Microlmager (FMI) Logs, Eastern Uinta Basin, Utah. Kerr McGee, Questar, and Schlumberger Corporations (Colorado) will be contributing to the project. Longman and Koepsell will collect and quantify information from a suite of six to eight FMI logs run through part or all of the Mesaverde Group in the area of Natural Buttes Field. The information will include sandstone thickness, sedimentary structures, bioturbation and root traces, scour contacts, and abundance of rip-up clasts. Information from the FMI logs will be integrated with data from other logs to distinguish sand-body types and interpretation of depositional environments of various sandstone bodies. Porosity, permeability, and fractures will be identified from the log data. The final report will include an FMI “Image Atlas” of the various types of sandstone bodies tied to text that describes the key features and reservoir potential of each type.

Thomas H. Morris and John H. McBride, Brigham Young University Department of Geology, Provo, Utah, A Multidisciplinary Approach to Reservoir Characterization of the Entrada Erg-Margin Gas Play, Utah. Morris and McBride will examine the reservoir characteristics of erg-margin sandstones in the Middle Jurassic Entrada Sandstone, a new gas play. They will construct an index map of Utah delineating the approximate north-south trend of the Entrada erg-margin. They will analyze sandstone body geometries using two shallow, high-resolution seismic reflection profiles, outcrop photo mosaics, and a measured section in the case-study area near Notom, Utah. Interpretations of meso- and macro-scale significant surfaces and features will be described and plots of grain size, paleocurrent analyses, and descriptions of primary and secondary structures will be developed. Quantitative analyses of porosity and, if possible, permeability measurements will be made of outcrop samples. The stratigraphic measured section will include scintillometer readings that can be compared to Entrada producing wells in the Flat Rock Field in the Uinta Basin.

Steven Schamel, GeoX Consulting Inc., Salt Lake City, Utah, Shale Gas Reservoirs of Utah: Survey of an Unexploited Potential Energy Resource. Schamel will identify shale reservoirs in Utah that have potential of producing commercial quantities of methane and associated natural gas liquids. This will be done by comparing the known geologic, petrophysical, and rheologic characteristics of candidate shales against established properties of actual producing shale gas reservoirs. The report developed by the project will describe the potential shale gas reservoirs in sufficient detail as to define specific potential natural gas plays. A set of recommendations will outline strategies for exploration and possible exploitation of this potentially new natural gas resource in Utah.