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Analysis of the Pennsylvanian Petroleum System in the Paradox Basin Fold and Fault Belt, Colorado and Utah 

Rasmussen, Dalton L.1, Donald L. Rasmussen2, Robert J. Coskey1
Platte River Associates, Inc, Boulder, CO
2 Paradox Basin Data, Denver, CO

The eastern third of the Paradox Basin along the Uncompahgre Uplift in Colorado and Utah has been the focus of recent attention due to significant emerging gas plays of the Pennsylvanian petroleum system. In order to gain a better understanding of these plays, it becomes necessary to take a fresh look at the geological history of the rocks involved and reassess the generation, migration and accumulation histories of the associated petroleum systems. Past investigations have looked at source rocks (Hite et al., 1985) as well as basin-wide burial and thermal histories (Nuccio & Condon, 1996). This study expands on previous work, offering a less generalized approach by focusing on the petroleum systems within the complex salt deformation belt along the Uncompahgre Uplift. High-resolution data and modeling tools provide and integrated look into the petroleum systems of the Hovenweep, Gothic, and other organic-rich shales. Multi-dimensional modeling tools establish the timing of the petroleum system, and identify probable migration routes. A Monte Carlo uncertainty analysis addresses the generative potential of the various source rocks.