PSNew Potential in an Existing Giant Field: Teapot Dome, Wyoming*
Sandy Raeuchle1, Dinesh Fernando1, Erin Duffey1, and Richard Talbert1
Search and Discovery Article #20031 (2006)
Posted May 12, 2006)
*Adapted from poster presentation during AAPG Annual Convention, Houston, Texas, April 10-12, 2006 -- AAPG 2006 Non-Seismic Methods: Case Studies
1Electro-Seise, Inc., Fort Worth, Texas 76107 ( [email protected] )
Teapot Dome Field, Natrona County, Wyoming, is listed in the top 100 largest fields in the United States with proven reserves of 42,515,000 bbl. The field has been exploited in the Upper Cretaceous Shannon, Second Wall Creek sandstones as well as the Pennyslvanian Tensleep Figures 1, 2, and 3). We at Electro-Seise (ESI) found additional potential in these developed producing formations. Considerable potential lies in the unexploited and fractured Upper Cretaceous Niobrara shales and the Lower Cretaceous Muddy sandstones. Several million barrels of oil remain in the subsurface yet to be drilled.
Airborne microgravity was used in this study to determine this potential. Acquisition techniques utilized a passive sensor similar to old torsion balance types used to define salt domes in the Gulf Coast. Total potential field signals are measured and the state-of-the-art digitally processed, producing a three-dimensional microgravity cube for the recognition of movable hydrocarbons at depth.
Three dimensional seismic was merged with the gravity data. Structural maps were derived matching the hydrocarbon “depth slices” through the prospective horizons. New potential pools conform to structure, giving the interpretation a good confidence level. The 3D seismic structure maps show doubly-plunging anticlines with very steep dips, particularly on the western flank. These structures are set up deep within the basement rocks by lateral and compressional movement, expressed as a flower structure.
Horizontal wells should be considered, particularly in the fractured Niobrara shales. An early DST in the Niobrara flowed 25,000 bopd. Clearly this sort of potential, combined with by-passed Muddy Sandstone pay, would provide economic wells with quick payouts.
Teapot Dome Structure (Figures 5 and 6)
Electro-Seise Depth Slices (Figures 7 and 8)
The Department of Energy and RMOTC have recognized Electro-Seise technology as a stand-alone geophysical tool.