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The northeastern part of the Great Divide basin is a separate, unique, and until recently, little-explored subbasin sometimes called the Bison basin. It is bounded by the Wind River Mountains, Sweetwater-Granite Mountain foreland uplift, Lost Soldier-Wertz structure, and a little-studied very positive east-west structural arch approximately coincident with the Sweetwater-Fremont county line.
A comprehensive seismic, Landsat, and subsurface geologic examination or, better, dissection of the Bison basin was initiated in 1978. Numerous oil and gas prospects were delineated by this study. Since this small, 12 by 40 mi (19 by 64 km) basin is bordered by known reserves of 260 million bbl of oil and 90 million bcf of gas, these prospects proved to be a popular target of the drill bit. At least one of these prospects appears to be productive; others are currently being drilled.
The presence of major east-west wrench faults, a well-documented foreland uplift, until recently undrilled surface and subsurface structures, faults with throw measured in tens of thousands of feet, and an oil seep indicate possible additional hydrocarbon potential in the Bison basin that could exceed presently known reserves. Currently drilling wells and abundant already acquired reflection seismic data are the beginning step in an ongoing exploration program of an interesting, complex, and rewarding small basin with a lot of promise.
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