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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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Man excavating Utahraptor herd turns to public for donations

ksl.com

LEHI — Scott Madsen has been working on one particular job for more than 15 years.

He’s had a long career as an expert in preparing fossils. His work is exceptionally delicate and he often spends hours at a time peering through a microscope, peeling back layers of rock one layer at a time.

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PRESS RELEASE: Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity

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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. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity

Major Oil Plays in Utah and Vicinity

By: Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr., Compiler and Editor

One of the benefits of Utah’s diverse geology is a wealth of petroleum resources. Three oil-producing provinces exist in Utah and adjacent parts of Wyoming, Colorado, and Arizona—the thrust belt, Paradox Basin, and Uinta Basin. Utah produces oil from eight major “plays” within these provinces. This 293-page bulletin describes concisely and in new detail each of these major oil plays. It provides “stand alone” play portfolios which include the following descriptions: (1) tectonic setting; (2) reservoir stratigraphy, thickness, and lithology; (3) type of oil traps; (4) rock properties; (5) oil and gas chemical and physical characteristics; (6) seal and source rocks including timing of generation and migration of oil; (7) exploration and production history; (8) case-study oil field evaluations; (9) reservoir outcrop analogs; (10) exploration potential and trends; and (11) maps of play and subplay areas. The bulletin will help petroleum companies determine exploration, land-acquisition, and field-development strategies; pipeline companies plan future facilities and pipeline routes; and assist with decisions and evaluations faced by landowners, bankers and investors, economists, utility companies, county planners, and numerous government resource management agencies.

GET IT HERE

The latest issue of Survey Notes is here!

Our latest issue of Survey Notes is here! Find articles on mapping Utah wetlands & UGS’s role in contributing water-quality data to the National Ground-Water Monitoring Network, and more among our regular featured columns.

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POTD October 19, 2016: White Rock Bay, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County

White Rock Bay, Antelope Island State Park, Davis County
Photographer: Ken Krahulec © 2016

10-18-16

Earth Science Week 2016

Earth Science Week is in full swing at the Utah Geological Survey this week.

Our stream trailer allows students to create and destroy a river landscape while learning about deposition and erosion.

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Survey Notes September 2016 Issue is Here!

Our latest issue of Survey Notes is here!

Find articles on the salt crust on Great Salt Lake’s north arm, the geothermal project near Milford, Utah and more among our regular featured columns.

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Check out past issues

POTD September 6, 2016

9-6-16
Along the Colorado River, Grand County
Photographer: Ryhan Sempler © 2016

Geologic map of Dugway Proving Ground and adjacent areas, Tooele County, Utah

Geologic map of Dugway Proving Ground and adjacent areas, Tooele County, Utah.
By: Donald L. Clark, Charles G. Oviatt, and David Page

GET IT HERE

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Dugway Proving Ground is an expansive military installation that covers parts of the southern Great Salt Lake Desert and Government Creek Basin, and the southern Cedar Mountains, Wildcat Mountain, Granite Peak, and northern Dugway Range. The ranges contain Paleozoic marine sedimentary rocks about 28,000 feet (8540 m) thick, excepting Granite Peak- a Late Jurassic granitic intrusion. The southern Cedar Mountains volcanic field contains Eocene intermediate to silicic rocks, while the rhyolitic Sapphire Mountain lava flow is Miocene. Paleozoic rock packages are distributed among at least three thrusts sheets of the Sevier fold-thrust belt (Cretaceous to Eocene). Regional extension since about 20 million years ago has broken the area into basins and ranges along high-angle normal faults. Quaternary surficial deposits originated from the Bonneville lake cycle, and alluvial, eolian, and mixed environments. A unique feature is the Old River Bed and associated delta complex at its northern terminus, related to surface- water overflow and goundwater discharge from the Sevier basin to the Great Salt Lake basin between about 15,000 and 10,000 years ago. The delta was occupied by prehistoric humans.