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Delineation of Anomalously Pressured Gas Accumulations in the Riverton Dome Area, Wind River Basin, Wyoming
The new exploration technology for basin-center gas accumulations developed by R. C. Surdam and Associates at the Institute for Energy Research, University of Wyoming, was applied to the Riverton Dome 3-D seismic area. Application of the technology resulted in the development of important new exploration leads in the Frontier, Muddy, and Nugget formations. The new leads are adjacent to a major north-south trending fault, which is downdip from the crest of the major structure in the area.
In a blind test, the drilling results from six new Muddy test wells were accurately predicted. The range of initial production values, IP, for the six test wells was < one mmcf/day to four mmcf/day. The three wells with the highest IP values (i.e., three to four mmcf/day) were drilled into an intense velocity anomaly (i.e., anomalously slow velocities). The well drilled at the edge of the velocity anomaly had an IP value of one mmcf/day, and the wells drilled outside of the velocity anomaly had IP values of < one mmcf/day and are presently shut in. Based on the test results, we conclude that this new exploration strategy for detecting and delineating commercial, anomalously pressured gas accumulations is valid in the southwestern part of the Wind River Basin, and can be used to significantly reduce the exploration risk, and increase the profitability, of so-called basin-center gas accumulations.
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