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The discovery of the East Painter Reservoir field in mid-1979 led to the initiation of the first major 3-D survey in the Wyoming Overthrust belt. A 3-D survey was necessary because interpretation of conventional 2-D seismic data over the East Painter area did not provide a sufficiently reliable picture of the structure on the objective Triassic Nuggett zone to permit an aggressive development program to be carried out. Field data for the 17 mi2 (44 km2) East Painter 3-D survey were collected during the winter of 1979-1980, and the final migrated sections were in hand by July 1980.
Interpretation of the final 3-D products resolved the previous structural ambiguities and showed the East Painter structure to be continuous and almost as large as the main Painter Reservoir feature. Information from the 3-D mapping allowed up to 6 development wells to be drilled at one time and helped to guide the locations of the last 13 development wells; all of them were successful. The average cost per well was $4 to $5 million. The cost of the 3-D survey was $1.6 million, which turned out to be a good value.
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