Detailed north-south cross section showing environments of deposition, organic richness, and thermal maturities of lower Tertiary rocks in the Uinta Basin, Utah

Scientific Investigations Map 3304
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Abstract

The Uinta Basin of northeast Utah has produced large amounts of hydrocarbons from lower Tertiary strata since the 1960s. Recent advances in drilling technologies, in particular the development of efficient methods to drill and hydraulically fracture horizontal wells, has spurred renewed interest in producing hydrocarbons from unconventional low-permeability dolomite and shale reservoirs in the lacustrine, Eocene Green River Formation. The Eocene Green River Formation was deposited in Lake Uinta, a long-lived saline lake that occupied the Uinta Basin, the Piceance Basin to the east, and the intervening Douglas Creek arch. The focus of recent drilling activity has been the informal Uteland Butte member of the Green River Formation and to a much lesser extent the overlying R-0 oil shale zone of the Green River Formation. Initial production rates ranging from 500 to 1,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day have been reported from the Uteland Butte member from horizontal well logs that are as long as 4,000 feet (ft);. The cross section presented here extends northward from outcrop on the southern margin of the basin into the basin’s deep trough, located just south of the Uinta Mountains, and transects the area where this unconventional oil play is developing. The Monument Butte field, which is one of the fields located along this line of section, has produced hydrocarbons from conventional sandstone reservoirs in the lower part of the Green River Formation and underlying Wasatch Formation since 1981. A major fluvial-deltaic system entered Lake Uinta from the south, and this new line of section is ideal for studying the effect of the sediments delivered by this drainage on hydrocarbon reservoirs in the Green River Formation. The cross section also transects the Greater Altamont-Bluebell field in the deepest part of the basin, where hydrocarbons have been produced from fractured, highly overpressured marginal lacustrine and fluvial reservoirs in the Green River, Wasatch, and North Horn Formations since 1970. Datum for the cross section is sea level so that hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir rocks could be integrated into the structural framework of the basin.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Detailed north-south cross section showing environments of deposition, organic richness, and thermal maturities of lower Tertiary rocks in the Uinta Basin, Utah
Series title Scientific Investigations Map
Series number 3304
DOI 10.3133/sim3304
Year Published 2014
Language English
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Publisher location Reston, VA
Contributing office(s) Central Energy Resources Science Center
Description Report: iv, 12 p.; Cross Section: 69.0 x 45.01 inches
Country United States
State Utah
Other Geospatial Uinta Basin
Online Only (Y/N) Y
Additional Online Files (Y/N) Y