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West Tavaputs, Uinta Basin - A Story of Persistence

Roux, Wilfred R.
Bill Barrett Corporation, Denver, CO

     The remote West Tavaputs Plateau area has experienced sporadic exploration and intermittent drilling for the past 50 years. Despite well-recognized hydrocarbon potential, the remoteness of the site, rough topography and access to markets all helped suppress more thorough development.
     In 2002, Bill Barrett Corporation (BBC) acquired 13 wells producing 1.4 MMCFGD and 46,622 gross acres in the Stone Cabin, Jack Canyon & Peter's Point federal units and adjacent areas located in Carbon County, Utah, Southwest Uinta Basin, for approximately $8 MM. Production in 2002 was from the Tertiary North Horn Formation (Lower Wasatch) and a minor amount from the Wasatch. The Company believed there was further potential from the North Horn and possibly from the deeper Price River (Mesaverde).
     This presentation focuses on the early exploration seismic acquisition and drilling on the project and also provides an update on drilling and production. In April 2002 the Company applied for a 3D seismic permit with the BLM for a 83 square mile survey. Two years later the Company received a favorable Decision Record in July 2004.
     The objective of the survey was the structural configuration of deeper Cretaceous Dakota / Cedar Mtn Formations and the Jurassic Entrada, Navajo, and Wingate Formations. The secondary objective was the shallower Price River (Mesaverde) Formation. Given the length of time from May 2002 to July 2004 to acquire a Federal permit the original estimate of $4.2MM for survey cost ultimately ballooned to over $8MM.

 

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