--> Abstract: Exploration in Southwestern Idaho: Will Idaho Finally Produce?, by Dean L. Garwood and John A. Welhan; #90169 (2013)

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Exploration in Southwestern Idaho: Will Idaho Finally Produce?

Dean L. Garwood and John A. Welhan
University of Idaho

Recent exploration efforts in Idaho have been focused on the western Snake River Plain, an approximately 64 km wide, northwest-trending tectonic basin. This structure formed over a short time period (10-12 Ma) and is filled with up to 3,500 meters of sand, silt, clay, ash, diatomite, freshwater limestone, conglomerate, and intercalated basalt flows (Wood and Clemens, 2002). Deep seismic exploration profiles, gravity anomalies, and geophysical logs indicate large fault blocks and facies changes that could create traps (McLeod, 1993; Wood, 1994; Porter, 2009) and ubiquitous thick clay interbeds afford potential seals for porous sandy reservoir rocks. Natural gas shows are common in deeper parts of the basin. Since 1907, there have been 68 exploration wells drilled in southwest Idaho. Many of these wells are less than 800 m deep, with limited well log information, and have gas shows as shallow as 100 m but have no economic production to date. Recent exploration started in 2010 with 11 new wells drilled resulting in five gas wells and two gas condensate wells in the Hamilton and Willow fields, near New Plymouth, Idaho. Older geophysical data has been reprocessed and supplemented by new 2-D and 3-D seismic surveys in the area. If these wells go into production, they would be the first commercial gas wells in Idaho.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90169©2013 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section 62nd Annual Meeting, Salt Lake City, Utah, September 22-24, 2013