Utah FORGE Project Completes a Two- and Three-Dimensional Seismic Survey

Last week the Utah FORGE project completed a two- and three-dimensional seismic surveys to further characterize the project area’s buried granite reservoir. Specifically, the survey may help to identify any buried faults that might be zones of fluid flow.

Seismic surveys create subsurface images by generating, recording, and analyzing sound waves that travel through the Earth (such waves are also called seismic waves). Density changes between rock or soil layers reflect the waves back to the surface, and how quickly and strongly the waves are reflected back indicates what lies below.

For the Utah FORGE survey, vehicle-mounted vibrator plates (called vibroseis trucks) generated the source waves and a grid of geophones recorded them. The survey included two 2D surveys that were 2.5 miles long and included approximately 160 source points and geophone receivers each, and a 3D survey that covered 7 square miles and included 1,100 source points and 1,700 geophone receivers. The data is now being processed to generate a three-dimensional map of the subsurface reservoir.

For more a more information on seismic surveys see https://geology.utah.gov/map-pub/survey-notes/glad-you-asked/what-are-seismic-surveys/

Vibroseis truck with geophones (black cases) in the foreground.

 

Vibroseis truck with pickup and workman for scale.

 

 

Vibroseis trucks in action, pads down producing seismic waves.

 

 

2017 UGS Employee of the Year

Congratulations to John Good who was named the 2017 UGS Employee of the Year. John is a Graphic Arts Specialist with the Editorial Section and has worked for the Department of Natural Resources for 15 years, including the last three years with the UGS. His creative talent and commitment to produce high-quality publications has contributed to a positive UGS image to both the public and other government agencies. John has developed an excellent working relationship with authors and editors, understands their requests, and is always willing to research and find solutions to new and challenging publishing issues. His excellent work, productivity, positive attitude, and friendly sense of humor make John an outstanding employee and a deserving recipient of this special award and recognition.

Utah’s fossil record is dino-mite!

Reporters Leia Larsen and Benjamin Zack sat down with James Kirkland to find out what Utah looked like 100 million years ago and learn about the discovery boom happening right now.

VIEW PODCAST

www.standard.net

James Kirkland, the state paleontologist with the Utah Geological Survey, goes through the bones of a Mierasaurus on Nov. 21, 2017, at his lab in Salt Lake City. The fossils were recently found in Southern Utah and belong to a species of dinosaur that was previously thought to only live in what is now Europe.

POTD December 4, 2017: Cedar Mesa, San Juan County

Cedar Mesa, San Juan County
Photographer: Tyler Knudsen © 2017
An overhanging ledge of Permian-age Cedar Mesa Sandstone protects ancestral Puebloan ruins in Road Canyon. The informally named “Fallen Roof” ruin owes its name to the prominent spalling and collapse of thin sandstone slabs from the overhang’s ceiling.

PRESS RELEASE: Report Reviews Saline Waste Water from Oil and Gas Fields

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Contact
Tom Chidsey
801-537-3364
tomchidsey@utah.gov

Bulletin 138, Produced Water in the Uinta Basin, Utah: Evaluation of Reservoirs, Water Storage Aquifers, and Management Options

Salt Lake City (Nov. 29, 2017) — Oil and gas fields in the Uinta Basin of eastern Utah typically produce about 30 million barrels of oil and 325 billion cubic feet of natural gas annually. The hydrocarbon production also generates over 100 million barrels of saline non-potable water which requires disposal. A new Utah Geological Survey report addresses how to deal with this water.

Extensive drilling for gas in “tight” sandstones in the eastern part of the basin generates a need for water disposal, while in the central basin expanding enhanced oil recovery (EOR) programs, called waterflooding, creates a need for water. Although drilling activity is currently low in Utah, and elsewhere, due to depressed oil and gas prices, existing fields continue to produce. As wells mature, water production increases while oil and gas production decreases. In addition, oil and gas prices change depending on the economics of global market supply and demand. History has shown that these prices always rebound. The environmentally sound disposal of produced water affects the economics of the hydrocarbon resource development in the basin. Specific Uinta Basin water issues include water use/reuse for well drilling and completion (e.g., hydraulic fracturing), appropriate sites for disposal/reuse of water, development of systems to manage the produced water streams, and differing challenges for gas versus oil producers.

This new study by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) covers the geology, chemistry, and best practices related to saline water production in the Uinta Basin. Specifically, it includes (1) descriptions and maps of Uinta Basin reservoirs and aquifers, (2) statistical trends of the basin’s water quality, (3) overviews of produced-water facilities, and (4) recommendations for the best management practices and options to deal with the produced water. Appendices provide complete data compilations either collected or generated as part of this study. The report provides a framework to address the divergent water uses and disposal interests of various stakeholders and will help industry, particularly small producers, and regulators make optimum management decisions. The report also offers sound scientific information to allay public concerns about the potential for drinking-water contamination from hydraulic fracturing and production operations.

The 279-page Utah Geological Survey Bulletin 138, Produced Water in the Uinta Basin, Utah: Evaluation of Reservoirs, Water Storage Aquifers, and Management Options, is available (PDF) for free download from the UGS website at geology.utah.gov. Print-on-demand copies are available for purchase from the Utah Department of Natural Resources Map and Bookstore, 1-888-UTAHMAP, www.mapstore.utah.gov.

This research was funded by the Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America (RPSEA) through the “Small Producers Program,” authorized by the U.S. Energy Policy Act of 2005, and the National Energy Technology Laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy, with additional support from the UGS. The UGS also collaborated extensively with sister regulatory agencies within the Utah Department of Natural Resources (Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, Division of Water Rights, Division of Water Resources) and other agencies such as the Utah Division of Environmental Quality, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, as well as tribal authorities in the Uinta Basin. Participating industry partners were Anadarko Petroleum Corp., EOG Resources, Inc., QEP Resources, Inc., Wind River Resources, and Newfield Exploration.

The Utah Geological Survey, a division of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geologic environment, resources, and hazards.

Op-ed: The clock is ticking until Utah faces a major natural disaster

deseretnews.com

While hurricanes were devastating Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, fires were wreaking havoc in California and other global natural disasters were delivering widespread destruction, some here in Utah expressed relief to live in a place where we do not face such devastating natural hazards.

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POTD November 15, 2017: Salt Lake Valley from Ensign Peak, Salt Lake County. 

Salt Lake Valley from Ensign Peak, Salt Lake County.
Photographer: Mike Hylland © 2017

Southern Utah mine being chipped away by visitors; hurting small town business owner

kutv.com

To many in southern Utah it’s known as the “Glitter Mine” but to one Veyo business owner, Russ Feller, it’s more than that, it’s his livelihood.

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Greg Bell: It is never too early to prepare for hard times ahead

deseretnews.com

Over the past weeks, we have witnessed a chain of disasters that would seem to be almost once-in-a-lifetime events. Mother Nature’s destructive power leaves us humbled and awed. We stand as nothing before its fury.

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70 million-year-old fossil proves dinosaurs liked to cuddle

ibtimes.com

Dinosaurs have acquired a bad reputation of the past couple of million years for not being the most affectionate of species.

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