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Atoka Geochemical Services Corporation, Englewood, Colorado

Abstract: Integrated Exploration - Approach, Results and Caveats: Examples From the Denver and Williston Basins

In 1996 an integrated exploration program was implemented targeting two distinctly different types of reservoirs in two areas: D and J sandstone reservoirs in the Denver Basin and Mission Canyon carbonate shoals in the Williston Basin. The approach utilized a layer or stacking concept for exploration in that each method had to define or confirm the presence of the target independently. Regional geology, surface geochemistry, 2D seismic data, and petrology were used for this study. Each method was weighted equally and a negative result from one technique essentially stopped prospect development. Based on regional subsurface geologic studies target areas were defined in both the Williston and Denver basins. The focus of exploration was further defined by surface geochemistry to provide a basis for prospect generation. Anomalous areas as defined by the surface geochemical survey led to a review of adjacent wells and existing 2D seismic data. Anomalies supported by detailed subsurface geology and seismic confirmation were taken to the next step. Existing seismic data was reprocessed and correlated to the surface geochemical data and subsurface geologic data. In addition, petrology was done on the target strata in wells adjacent to each seismic and surface geochemical anomaly to determine if reservoir facies would likely be present. Where all four methods still correlated, leasing occurred and new seismic was shot to more accurately define the target. The program resulted in two technical successes, one that was economic and one that was not.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90919©1999 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Bozeman, Montana