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Gas-in-Place Resource Assessments of Selected Rocky Mountain Basins: Results from the Greater Green River, Wind River, and Uinta Basins

Douds, Ashley S.B.1, Kelly K. Rose1, H.R. Pratt1, James A. Pancake1, Ray M. Boswell2
1 EG&G Technical Services, Morgantown, WV
2 National Energy Technology Laboratory, Morgantown, WV

Natural gas resource assessments are a commonly used tool by industry, academia, and government to understand the current and near-term recoverability of the nation’s resource base. However, these resource assessments tend to be static pictures of a resource that is, in reality, highly dynamic. Assessment based on gas-in-place (GIP) analysis and iterative modeling of resource recoverability under a variety of technology/policy scenarios provides improved means to identify the most promising approaches to expanded resource recoverability.

This study collects detailed, spatially distributed, geologic and engineering information on key segments of the nation’s under-utilized gas resource base. Through the correlation and analysis of hundreds of log suites, and drilling & completion records, key parameters including depth, potential pay thickness, porosity, pressure, temperature, and water saturation were determined and used to produce detailed characterizations of the GIP for each unit analyzed. 

In February 2003, GIP resource assessments for the Greater Green River and Wind River basins were provided for the DOE’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. Results indicate there is roughly 3,637 tcf of in-place resource in the Greater Green River Basin, and 1,169 tcf in the Wind River Basin. Gas-in-place results for the Tertiary and Cretaceous sections of the Uinta basin will also be presented. This study, in conjunction with DOE modeling efforts and permeability analyses, provides a detailed, disaggregated, geologic and engineering database for modeling the impact of different technology scenarios on the future of U.S. natural gas exploration, production, and supply.