Geology Of The Ferron Sandstone Coalbed Gas "Fairway," Central Utah
David E. Tabet, Briditte P. Hucka, and Steven N. Sommer
A major new coalbed gas play with as many as 1,000 wells already proposed is being developed in the Upper Cretaceous Ferron Sandstone of central Utah. The Ferron consists of a vertically stacked sequence of as many as seven fluvial-deltaic sandstones and laterally equivalent interdistributary coal swamp units. A new total-net-coal isopach map for the Ferron, compiled from the review of hundreds of well records, shows the greatest accumulation of coal generally occurs in a 6-to 10 mile-wide band, or fairway, directly to the west (landward) of the fluvial-deltaic sandstones. This fairway can be traced a distance of at least 80 miles, heading southwest from the vicinity of Price to the southeast corner of Sevier County. The fairway is interrupted roughly every 8-to-12 miles long its length by deltaic, distributary-channel systems.
Well samples of Ferron coal were examined microscopically to determine vitrinite reflectance and maturity level. Near-surface coals, on the east side of the fairway, have vitrinite reflectance measurements as low as 0.5 percent. Reflectance values increase to the west, reaching a maximum of 0.71 percent. The maturity of coals with vitrinite reflectance readings between 0.5 and 0.71 percent is the early stage in which thermogenic methane generation begins. Examination of drill-hole data also shows that the coal fairway exists at shallow to moderate depths, ranging from surface exposures to 8,000 feet deep.
AAPG Search and Discover Article #91019©1996 AAPG Convention and Exhibition 19-22 May 1996, San Diego, California