A Short History of Jonah Field: From Technology to Geology
Warner, Edward M.
Colorado State University, Denver, CO
Jonah Field was discovered by the drilling of the McMurry Oil Company Jonah-Federal #1-5 in January, 1993. Three earlier wells drilled by Davis Oil and Home Petroleum were non-commercial when drilled between 1975 and 1986. McMurry Oil purchased the three wells and acreage from Presidio Oil in January, 1992. In February, 1992, McMurry sold working interests to Ft. Collins Consolidated Royalties, Nerd Entrerprises and the writer. The four "Jonah Partners" developed the prospect.
In August, 1992, the Jonah Partners formed "Green River Gas Gathering" the limited liability company that built the Jonah pipeline system. More recently known as "Jonah Gas Gathering", the system was sold off between 1996 and 2000.
The initial success of Jonah Field was enabled by advances in fracture technology. John Martin, president of McMurry, Mick McMurry and the writer, studying the history of Pinedale Field, concluded that the gelled water fracs of the 1980's were at the root of the failure to produce commercial quantities of gas from the Lance sandstones. Recompletion of the Jonah-Federal #32-34 and the completion of the #1-5 using foam frac technology changed the future of Jonah. James Shaw, consultant engineer, designed and oversaw over 400 frac jobs without a failure.
Jonah became a geological success with the writer's discovery of the structure and compartmentalization of Jonah Field. Only one dry hole has been drilled since then compared with over 450 successes.
Jonah is now entering the third phase of its' development. It is anticipated that it will take over 1,500 wells to adequately drain the 9 TCF of recoverable reserves.