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Paleozoic Shale-Gas Resources of the Colorado Plateau and Eastern Great Basin, Utah: Multiple Frontier Exploration Opportunities

B-136 Insert

By: Thomas C. Chidsey, Jr.

This report (241 pages of text, 187 figures, 30 tables, and 21 appendices) presents the shale-gas potential of the Mississippian-Pennsylvanian Manning Canyon Shale/Doughnut Formation and the Pennsylvanian Paradox Formation (Chimney Rock, Gothic, and Hovenweep shales) of central and southeastern Utah, respectively. Shale beds within these formations are widespread, thick, buried deep enough to generate dry gas (or oil in some areas of the Paradox Basin), and sufficiently rich in organic material and fractures to hold significant recoverable gas reserves. This study provides a detailed evaluation of these potential shale-gas reservoirs including (1) drilling history, (2) identification and mapping/ correlating the major shale intervals, (3) characterization of the geologic, petrographic, geochemical, and petrophysical rock properties of those reservoirs from cores, (4) burial histories and organic maturation models, and (5) descriptions of outcrop analogs. Collectively, this study delineates the areas with the greatest gas potential (“sweet spots”) and offers recommendations for the best completion practices to develop these targeted shale-gas reservoirs.

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Shale Play Comparison: Uinta Basin vs. Williston Basin

Bakken Breakout

From the highway, Utah’s Uinta Basin has some striking similarities to oil producing areas in North Dakota – namely, there’s an abundance of new oil wells.

The evening view from a hill called Blue Bench is evidence. Lights from oil rigs and wells are scattered across an uneven topography. Once, that land seemed empty of everything but juniper tress, sage brush and sandstone.

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