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Development of Conventional and Unconventional Reservoirs: West Tavaputs Plateau, Uinta Basin, Utah

Hinds, Gregory
Bill Barrett Corporation, Denver, CO

     In early 2002, Bill Barrett Corporation purchased approximately 46,000 gross acres in three Federal Units in the Nine Mile Canyon area of the Southern Uinta Basin. At the time of the purchase, the field was producing 1.4 MMCFD from approximately 11 wells. The purchase also included three federal permits, an ongoing Environmental Assessment and an antiquated polypipe gathering system. The company immediately applied to shoot an 83 square mile 3D seismic program and to expand the EA as well as renaming the project to the West Tavaputs Plateau to better reflect the area of operations.
     Historical producing horizons at West Tavaputs include the primarily fluvial reservoirs of the Blackhawk, Price River and North Horn formations along with shallow production from the alluvial and lacustrine reservoirs in the Green River-Wasatch transition zone. The project area also contained two deep tests that had resulted in a small amount of gas production from the Dakota formation. By applying CO2-assisted fracture treatments and stacking completions, the company has been able to overcome the previously marginal economics from the normal to slightly over pressured reservoirs. Also, by utilizing 3D seismic, Bill Barrett Corporation has been able to define sweet spots within the complex structural and stratigraphic controlled shallow reservoirs. The 3D was also instrumental in identifying deeper potential which resulted in the discovery of significant reserves in the Navajo formation. Presently, the company has drilled over 80 Mesaverde depth wells and six Navajo wells. Production has grown to over 90 MMCFD and continues to increase, despite a very difficult regulatory and operating environment.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90071 © 2007 AAPG Rocky Mountain Meeting, Snowbird, Utah