Luncheon – September 5, 2003

Title: White River Dome Field: Gas Production from Deep Coals and Sandstones of the Cretaceous Williams Fork Formation
Speaker: Terrilyn M. Olson, Tom Brown Inc.
Date: September 5, 2003
Publication: The Outcrop, September 2003, p. 4

White River Dome Field is located in the northeastern part of the Piceance Basin. Gas is produced primarily from coals and sandstones of the Williams Fork Formation, part of the Cretaceous Mesaverde Group. The coalbed methane (CBM) gas production is the deepest known from coal worldwide, with producing depths down to 8140 ft. Initial gas production rates are higher from the sandstones, though ultimate reserves are heavily dependent on coal thickness and gas content. While both reservoir types demonstrate low gas permeability, the coals tend to have better permeability than the sandstones. Sandstone producibility is a function of matrix and natural fracture permeability. Coal permeability comes from a combination of the cleat system and natural fractures.

Estimated ultimate recovery from White River Dome Field is currently estimated at about 130 BCF equivalent, based on cumulative production and proved reserves. An on-going reservoir characterization effort is geared toward optimizing development of this unusual and heterogeneous reservoir. Technologies employed in this effort include neural networks for matrix permeability estimation, image log interpretation, 3-D geologic modeling, and fluid flow simulation.