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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 69 (1985)

Issue: 2. (February)

First Page: 298

Last Page: 298

Title: Powder River Basin, Wyoming: Structural Development, Hydrocarbon Migration, and Accumulation: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Johann-Christian Pratsch

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The geographical location of oil accumulations in the Powder River basin, Wyoming, is closely related to present basement structure. About 70% of the basin's cumulative oil production has been obtained from only 12 fields or 23% of the total fields. Each major oil field lies in an area of a pronounced positive Bouguer gravity anomaly and in the path of preferred regional hydrocarbon migration. Powder River basin Bouguer gravity anomalies most likely are caused by a combination of present basement structure and density changes in post-Paleozoic sediments; the latter are the result of synsedimentary basement structure and/or related topographic features influencing post-Paleozoic sedimentation. Stratigraphic and structural traps occur in close interrelationships across the asin. Published geochemical data in connection with available regional subsurface data permit mapping the preferred migration paths for oil and gas across the basin. Future discoveries of major hydrocarbon fields will be made in these hydrocarbon migration paths and areas in and around regional positive Bouguer gravity anomalies. Powder River oil field distribution follows general rules known from practically all producing basins but rarely used for lack of sufficient integration of geological and geophysical data. Gas field distribution is expected to be similar to oil field distribution.

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Copyright 1997 American Association of Petroleum Geologists