Geoscience and Utah

How does geoscience affect Utah?
The American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is currently releasing State Geoscience Information factsheets that show the role geoscience plays in powering our state’s economy. The Geoscience and Utah Factsheet highlights information from many Utah geoscience areas including, employment, water, minerals, energy and hazards.
Below is page 1 of the Utah factsheet showing an overview of the economic contributions that geology and geoscience bring to Utah.

AGI’s Geoscience Policy team created State Geoscience Information factsheets to inform geoscientists and decision makers on how geoscience impacts their state.

Download the Utah Geoscience Information factsheet

Field Review Invitation

FIELD REVIEW INVITATION

Geologic Map of the Tooele 30′ x 60′ Quadrangle,
Tooele, Salt Lake, Davis Counties, Utah

led by Donald L. Clark (UGS Geologist) and Charles G. Oviatt (Emeritus, Kansas State Univ.; Lake Bonneville specialist)

May 9-10, 2017

Day 1 (May 9), meet at Department of Natural Resources building (1594 W. North Temple, SLC, south side of building); gather at 7:00 am, depart at 7:30 am sharp. Review of the eastern part of map area, and return to SLC.

Day 2 (May 10), meet at DNR at 7:00 am, depart at 7:30 am sharp. Review of the western part of map area, and return to SLC.

You are invited to attend a field review highlighting updated geologic mapping of the area west of Salt Lake City. The purpose of the mapping is to accurately describe the stratigraphy, geologic structure, geologic resources, and geologic hazards of the area. These maps are used for land management planning, geologic hazard evaluation, resource assessment and development, and education, as well as by the weekend hobbyist. The trip will be geared to cover a broad audience including geologists, government officials, and the general public.

Highlights

  • Quaternary geology, Lake Bonneville levels and chronology
  • Quaternary fault zones/Basin and Range structure
  • Tertiary sedimentary and volcanic rocks
  • Mesozoic, Paleozoic, Proterozoic stratigraphy
  • Tooele arch, Stansbury uplift, Uinta-Cottonwood arch (western extension)
  • Sevier fold-thrust belt architecture
  • Subsurface and geophysical data
  • Geologic hazards
  • Geologic resources

Information

  • There is no charge; please circulate this notice among your colleagues.
  • For planning purposes, we ask that you RSVP to the UGS (starrsoliz@utah.gov or 801-537-3300); trip questions to donclark@utah.gov or 801-537-3344.
  • Some stops will involve a few short, strenuous hikes.
  • A high-clearance vehicle is preferable; roads become difficult in wet weather; full fuel tank.
  • Please bring your own food, water, boots, hat, field clothes, and warm waterproof jacket.
  • If severe weather threatens, please call the UGS office on day before to see if rescheduled.
  • A signed liability and consent form is required for trip attendance.

This project was funded through the National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program supported by the Utah Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey.

Print Consent Form

 

 

You Are Invited to Attend a Special Core Workshop: Introducing the Largest Single Field (Greater Aneth) Collection of Carbonate Cores in the Rocky Mountains!

 

                  

The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) is proud to announce a major donation of cores from Greater Aneth field in the Paradox Basin of southeastern Utah. This massive and scientifically significant collection of cores (from over 125 wells) was generously donated to the UGS by the field operator, Resolute Energy Corporation of Denver, Colorado. Greater Aneth is Utah’s largest field having produced over 480 million BO and 437 BCFG from oolitic and phylloid-algal limestones and dolomites of the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation. The UGS and Resolute invite you to attend a special core workshop designed to introduce this amazing collection to the geologic community (industry, universities, consultants, etc.).

  • Sponsors: The Utah Geological Survey and Resolute Energy Corporation
  • Cost: none
  • Date and Time: Tuesday, May 16, 2017, 8:30 A.M.–4:30 P.M.
  • Location: UGS’s Utah Core Research Center (UCRC), 240 North Redwood Road, Salt Lake City, Utah (Ph.: 801/537-3359)
  • Lunch: provided compliments of Resolute
  • Workshop Notes and Handouts: provided compliments of the UGS

 

Please RSVP

Registration (limited to 40 attendees): Cheryl Gustin, UGS

Ph. – (801) 537-3360; email – cherylgustin@utah.gov

For more information contact: Tom Chidsey, UGS
Ph. – (801) 537-3364; email – tomchidsey@utah.gov

Preliminary Agenda

Welcome and Overview of the UGS’s Core Research Center – Peter Nielsen, UGS Core Center Curator

Lecture Session

Reservoir Properties and Carbonate Petrography of the Aneth Unit, Greater Aneth Field – Tom Chidsey, UGS Geologist, and Dave Eby, Eby Petrography & Consulting, Inc.

Resolute’s Aneth Field Development Program, 2006–Present (Horizontal Drilling and CO2 Injection) – Steve Hoppe, Resolute Engineer

A Quick Note on Desert Creek Nomenclature – Jason Burris, Resolute Geologist

Core Examination Sessions

Core Examination Session I: Dave Eby

Core Examination Session II: Dr. Scott M. Ritter (professor) and graduate students, Brigham Young University Department of Geological Sciences

Roundtable Discussion Session on Research Opportunities/Recommendations – Tom Chidsey, Jason Burris, Scott Ritter, Dave Eby, and Peter Nielsen, Moderators

Closing Remarks/Wrap up – Tom Chidsey

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PRESS RELEASE: Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity

UGS_PRESS-RELEASE-HEADER

 

Media Contact

Utah Geological Survey
Tom Chidsey
801-537-3364
tomchidsey@utah.gov

 

New Report Provides Information and Maps to Help Keep Utah “The Place” to Find Oil

Salt Lake City (Jan. 18, 2017) — A new study by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS), Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity, contains the critical maps, data and information to help Utah remain a significant petroleum contributor to the nation while reaping major benefits to the State’s economy for years to come.

The study comes at time of low drilling activity in Utah, and elsewhere, due to current low oil prices. However, oil prices change depending on the economics of global market supply and demand. History has shown that oil prices always rebound and are predicted to rise soon. The UGS study will help petroleum companies, both those already operating in Utah and others considering operations in the state, determine land-acquisition, new exploration, and field-development strategies.

It will also help pipeline companies better plan future facilities and routes. Additionally, landowners, bankers and investors, economists, utility companies, county planners, and numerous government resource management agencies now have the additional data, information, and maps they need to assist with the decisions and evaluations they face.

“One of the benefits of Utah’s diverse geology is a wealth of petroleum resources,” said UGS geologist Tom Chidsey. “Utah’s proven oil reserves have risen significantly to more than 812 million barrels, indicating significant oil remains to be discovered and produced. This study will help increase recoverable oil reserves from existing fields and encourage new discoveries while reducing risk.”

Utah oil fields have produced about 1.6 billion barrels since production began in the late 1940s. Among oil-producing states, Utah ranks eleventh in domestic oil production, having over 150 active oil fields. The 2004 discovery of Covenant oil field in central Utah, a region that had never produced oil or gas, has yielded over 23 million barrels of oil.

Three major oil-producing provinces exist in Utah—the thrust belt, Uinta Basin, and Paradox Basin, in the northern and central, eastern, and southeastern parts of the state, respectively. Utah produces oil from eight major “plays” within these provinces. The UGS study provides “stand alone” play portfolios that describe concisely these major oil plays.

The play portfolios include oil reservoir thickness and rock types; type of oil traps; rock properties; oil and gas chemical and physical characteristics; oil and gas source rocks; exploration and production history; case-study oil fields and exploration potential and trends. Maps of each of the play and sub-play areas are also included.

The study also includes descriptions of Utah’s rock outcrops that are analogs for the producing underground reservoirs. Utah’s incredible exposures of the same rocks that produce from deep in the subsurface provide templates to better understand how to produce oil here and from similar reservoirs throughout the world.

The 293-page Utah Geological Survey Bulletin 137, Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity, is available (PDF) for free download from the UGS website at http://ugspub.nr.utah.gov/publications/bulletins/b-137.pdf. 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 a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory under the Preferred Upstream Management Program with additional support from the Utah Geological Survey. 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.

For more information about major oil plays in Utah, please contact:

Utah Geological Survey
Tom Chidsey
801-537-3364
tomchidsey@utah.gov

Map from the new Utah Geological Survey study showing various oil play areas and major oil and gas fields in the Uinta Basin of eastern Utah. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2017 calendar showcases Utah’s other worldly landscapes

deseretnews.com

The Utah Geological Survey has released the 11th edition of its popular calendar of Utah geology.

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Geological Survey launches 2017 calendar

Here’s a feature on our recently released 2017 Calendar of Utah Geology. If you haven’t looked yet, check it out!

stgeorgeutah.com

The Utah Geological Survey has recently released the 11th edition of its popular Calendar of Utah Geology. The 2017 calendar features numerous geological wonders in Utah, including some otherworldly landscapes, with a brief explanation of how and when they formed.

READ MORE

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PRESS RELEASE: 2017 Calendar of Utah Geology

 

Media Contact
Utah Geological Survey
Vicky Clarke
801-573-3330
vickyclarke@utah.gov

2017 Calendar of Utah Geology Showcases Utah’s Otherworldly Landscapes

Salt Lake City (October 17, 2016) — The Utah Geological Survey (UGS) has recently released the 11th edition of its popular Calendar of Utah Geology. “We published the first calendar in 2007 as a fun way to showcase cool photos taken by our geologists when working in the field,” said Vicky Clarke, UGS Publications Manager. The 2017 calendar features numerous geological wonders in Utah, including some otherworldly landscapes, with a brief explanation of how and when they formed.

Competition has grown among the staff (and not just the geologists) to get pictures in the calendar. This year, UGS staff submitted 232 photos for consideration, including some first-time submissions from UGS staff in the Natural Resources Map and Bookstore, who share with the geologists a love of the outdoors and curiosity about Utah’s landscapes. The cover photo of Great Salt Lake mudflats was taken by bookstore clerk Andy Cvar, who noted that “near-record low water levels reveal a landscape that feels like another planet.”

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The calendar contains many other photos that can be described as otherworldly. For example, January presents a photo of a surrealistic rock face mottled with a vibrant purple mineral called fluorite. “I see a lot of rock, a lot of scenery and so tend to be drawn to anything I find unusual. Utah is world famous for its red rock, but electric purple? That catches my eye,” said geologist Mark Milligan, who took the photo. Other photos include a boulder on the San Rafael Swell covered with 150 million year old clam fossils, a scene of salt-encrusted mounds in Great Salt Lake, convolute patterns eroded into the blue-gray badlands of North Caineville Mesa, and the multi-hued Gingham Skirts Butte in Kane County.

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The 2017 Calendar of Utah Geology is the same price as last year, $4.95 each or $4.25 for orders of 10 or more, and is available at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City, (801) 537-3320 or 1-888-UTAHMAP. They may also be purchased online at http://www.mapstore.utah.gov. Bookstore manager Brian Butler suggests to “shop early, as these calendars have sold out in previous years.”

The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geologic environment, resources, and hazards. It is one of seven divisions within the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

New graffiti at Capitol Reef National Park underscores ‘complex, difficult’ process of restoration

sltrib.com

Alongside centuries-old petroglyphs of a bear, a coyote and a bighorn sheep stand the newly etched words “DALLAS TX.”

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PRESS RELEASE: Utah’s Energy Landscape – 4th Edition

 

UGS_PRESS-RELEASE-HEADER

Media Contacts
Utah Geological Survey
Mark Milligan
801-537-3326
MarkMilligan@utah.gov

Utah Geological Survey
Michael D. Vanden Berg, P.G.
801-538-5419
MichaelVandenBerg@utah.gov

Utah’s Energy Landscape – 4th Edition

Energy is one of Utah’s four cornerstones for success, and the development of clean, secure, low-cost energy is one of the Governor’s top priorities.  Energy use and development is a topic of great interest to many Utah residents.  Energy is vital to our modern way of life, and energy education is required before citizens can engage in thoughtful dialogue.  The Utah Geological Survey’s (UGS) newly updated Utah’s Energy Landscape is a booklet designed to assist Utah residents and others on becoming more familiar with Utah’s diverse energy portfolio.

Two recent events have dominated Utah’s energy scene in the past few years: 1) the collapse of crude oil prices due to a worldwide oversupply, and 2) the exponential increase in both utility-scale and residential PV (photovoltaic) solar capacity. First, Utah’s crude oil price dropped from a high of about $100 per barrel in the summer of 2014 to a low of about $30 in late 2015, with prices dipping to $20 a barrel in early 2016.  Consequently, the number of drilling rigs in Utah decreased from about 23 in late 2014, down to 3 rigs in late 2015, and finally down to zero in early March 2016.  Since new oil wells are not being drilled to make up for production declines at existing wells, crude oil production in the state decreased nearly 10% in 2015 and is projected to continue to decline as long as prices remain low and rigs remain idled.  Similarly, natural gas prices (down 43%) and production (down 7%) have also decreased due to oversupply from the country’s prolific shale reservoirs.  Second, in 2015, 166 MW of new utility-scale solar capacity was installed in southwestern Utah and nearly 680 MW is currently under construction or in development.  By 2017, nearly 850 MW of new solar capacity will be online, more than wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, and biomass combined.  This surge in solar was also seen in the residential sector; the total number of renewable energy tax credits filed in Utah has grown exponentially in the past 6 years, from only 153 in 2009 to 3,061 in 2015, of which 94% were for residential PV.

The state of Utah is fortunate to have abundant and diverse energy resources including large reserves of conventional fossil fuels, several areas suitable for renewable resource development, and vast quantities of untapped unconventional oil shale and oil sands resources.  This publication, now in its fourth edition, provides balanced facts on each resource, including maps, graphs, helpful explanations, and photographs.  For those interested in obtaining the numbers behind the graphs, each page includes a reference to available historical data located on the UGS’s Utah Energy and Mineral Statistics website.

Printed versions of this publication are available for free at the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore located at 1594 West North Temple, Salt Lake City (801-537-3320, or 1-888-UTAHMAP; geostore@utah.gov) and also at the Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED).  The publication will also be available at the OED booth at the Governor’s Utah Energy Development Summit on May 24-25, 2016.  The report can also be downloaded from the UGS website at http://ugspub.nr.utah.gov/publications/circular/c-121.pdf.

The Utah Geological Survey provides timely scientific information about Utah’s geologic environment, resources and hazards.

C-121 Utah's Energy Landscape 2016


Cruide-Oil
Utah’s crude oil wellhead price hit an all-time, inflation-adjusted high of $95.31 per barrel in 2008. After a recession-related drop in 2009 and 2010, prices rebounded back into the low-$80s between 2011 and 2014 before plunging 49% to $40.69 per barrel in 2015. The value of Utah’s crude oil reached a peak of $3.2 billion in 2014 as a result of high prices and near record production, but retreated to $1.5 billion in 2015.


Cruide-Oil2
Due to low prices, no drill rigs were operating in Utah in early March 2016, a situation not seen in the last 50 years (2 rigs were running in April 2016). The previous low was 1 rig running for one week in March 1987. As recently as May 2012, Utah had 42 operating rigs and 22 in September of 2014.

The recent reduction was almost exclusively rigs drilling for crude oil.


Renewable
The number of renewable energy tax credits processed by the State of Utah has increased exponentially in the past few years, from 153 tax credits processed in 2009 to 3,174 tax credits processed in 2015. The vast majority of these tax credits (94% in 2015) are for residential solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Also of note, the average size (capacity) of residential solar PV systems has nearly doubled in the past 5 years from 3.3 kW in 2010 to 6.4 kW in 2015. It is thought that this increase is due to decreasing installation and equipment costs as well as a shift towards the desire to cover nearly 100% of a household’s electricity usage. Total solar capacity for the commercial and residential sector in Utah is estimated at about 55 M


solar_3-2015
As of April 2016, 166 MW of new solar generating capacity has come online in southwestern Utah. In addition, approximately 600 MW of capacity are currently under construction and roughly 80 MW of capacity are under development and should be completed by the end of the year. By 2017, Utah’s utility-scale solar capacity will total 847 MW, more than wind, geothermal, biomass, and hydroelectric combined.

 

PRESS RELEASE: New Report Forecasts the High Likelihood of Damaging Earthquakes During the Lifetime of Many Utah Residents

In the first comprehensive study of its kind for Utah, Earthquake Probabilities for the Wasatch Front Region in Utah, Idaho, and Wyoming forecasts the chances for damaging earthquakes in the Wasatch Front region. In the next 50 years there is a 43 percent chance, or nearly 1-out-of-2 odds, of at least one large earthquake of magnitude 6.75 or greater. For a moderate quake of magnitude 5 or greater the probability is 93 percent, or greater than 9-out-of-10 odds.

See images for full press release.

Find the Publication HERE

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