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Exploration in the Eastern Greater Green River Basin: An Independent’s Perspective


Fred C. Julander

Julander Energy Corporation, Denver, CO


The Red Desert, Washakie and Sand Wash Basins that comprise the eastern portion of the Greater Green River Basin are attractive to exploration oriented independents of all sizes from one- and two- person shops to the largest exploration and production companies. There are more than fifty independents active in these basins targeting at least fifteen different stratigraphic horizons.


Today these basins are particularly inviting to the independent because they contain widespread areas that host thousands of feet of section saturated with natural gas in both over- and under-pressured conditions. This saturated column can exceed 11,000 feet in height and range from the Morrison up into the Wasatch.


The tight sands, coals and shales that make up this column constitute huge natural gas resources. On large amounts of acreage left to the independents a decade ago when many majors pulled out of the Rockies, enhanced geological comprehension and advancing technology are enabling these potential reservoirs to be better understood and more extensively explored and efficiently harvested into clean energy reserves.


In areas that are lightly developed, larger independents often use new knowledge and technology to exploit productive trends bypassed in older wells. Some small independents use similar strategies in sparsely drilled areas, postulating that they provide the opportunity to find and control the origination of giant gas fields. These often-iconoclastic explorationists firmly believe that the major successes of Jonah and the Pinedale Anticline in the western Greater Green River Basin will be replicated in the eastern Greater Green River Basin.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90004©2002 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, Laramie, Wyoming