High fluid pressures are known to be associated with oil and gas fields in the Uinta Basin, Utah. Shut-in pressure measurements from drill-stem tests show how pressure varies with depth and by area within the basin. The data base used in this report incorporates over 2,000 pressure measurements from drill-stem tests in wells completed prior to 1985. However, the number of useful pressure measurements is considerably less, because many drill-stem tests fail to stabilize at the actual formation pressure if the permeability is low. By extracting the maximum pressure measurements recorded in a collection of wells within an area, the trend of formation pressure within that area can be approximated. Areal compilations of pressures from drill-stem tests show that overpressured rock formations occur throughout much of the northern and eastern areas of the Uinta Basin. In particular, significant overpressuring (0.5 < pressure gradient < 0.8 psi/ft) is found throughout much of the Altamont-Bluebell field at depths ranging from 10,000 to 13,000 ft, equivalent to 5,000 to 8,000 ft below sea level. Limited data indicate that the pressure gradient declines at depths greater than 13,000 ft. An underpressured zone appears to exist in the Altamont-Bluebell field at depths shallower than 5,000 ft. Throughout the eastern Uinta Basin, moderately overpressured zones (0.46 < pressure gradient < 0.5 psi/ft) are common, with local evidence of significantly overpressured zones, but pressure gradients greater than 0.6 psi/ft are rare.
Additional Publication Details
Subsurface fluid pressures from drill-stem tests, Uinta Basin, Utah