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Utah Shale Gas: an Emerging Resource Play

Schamel, Steven
GeoX Consulting Inc, Salt Lake City, UT

     In 2007 several proven and potential shale gas plays in Utah are poised to make a significant contribution to natural gas production. Spurred by improving market conditions for natural gas and the availability of appropriate fracture stimulation technology, exploitation of Upper Cretaceous Mancos Shale gas has begun already and potential Paleozoic shale gas reservoirs (Hermosa Group and Manning Canyon) are being evaluated. Favorable gas tests from Mancos Shale completions, good DSTs, large to very large mud gas readings, and widespread gas shows all demonstrate the strong potential for development of this shale gas reservoir. Whereas most of the good indications are in the upper part of the 3,000-3,800 ft thick Mancos Shale, principally in the Prairie Canyon Member, favorable indications were found in all of the other shaly and silty units, the Lower Blue Gate, Juana Lopez and Tununk Members. At present, Mancos shale gas is being produced from a small number of wells in the Greater Natural Buttes and Flat Rock fields. In all instances, this is “add-on” gas, supplementing production from conventional sandstone reservoirs. The only remaining impediment to major development of the Mancos Shale gas resource is determination of operators to complete wells in the formation. Where sufficiently mature, the Hermosa Group black shales in the Paradox basin and the Manning Canyon-Doughnut Shale in the western Book Cliffs have strong potential for shale gas, but serious evaluation is just beginning.


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