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Oil & Gas Basins


Wyoming's oil & gas basins

WSGS geologists track and record Wyoming's oil and gas production according to each basin. These basins, otherwise known as “Laramide basins,” are fault-bounded basins that formed between basement-cored mountain ranges during the Late Cretaceous to Early Eocene Laramide orogeny (~80–55 Ma). These basins formed by basement-rooted reverse faults with as much as tens of kilometers of vertical offset. Laramide basins are found from northern Mexico through Canada. The primary Laramide basins in Wyoming are the Bighorn, Denver, Greater Green River, Hanna, Laramie, Powder River, Wind River and Shirley basins.


Stratigraphic Nomenclature Chart of the Laramide Basins, WyomingStratigraphic Nomenclature Chart of the Laramide Basins, Wyoming













Bighorn Basin

Bighorn Basin oil & gas production

The Bighorn Basin is an elongate, northwest-trending structural basin in north-central Wyoming. It is approximately 193 km (120 miles) long and up to 145 km (90 miles) wide. In the axis of the basin, Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic rocks are present with a total thickness that exceeds 7,620 m (25,000 feet). The basin is bounded on the north and east by the Pryor and Bighorn mountains, and on the south and west by the Owl Creek, Absaroka, and Beartooth mountains.

 

Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Type Log
Cross Sections
Geologic Map












Denver Basin

Denver Basin oil & gas production

The Denver Basin of Wyoming is an asymmetrical Laramide-age basin in the southeastern corner of the state that covers more than 180,000 square kilometers (70,000 square miles) in parts of Colorado, Wyoming, South Dakota, Kansas, and Nebraska. The basin is often termed the Denver-Julesburg Basin, or the Denver-Julesburg-Wattenburg Basin. The bulk of the basin is in Colorado. In Wyoming, the Denver Basin is bounded on the west by the Laramie Range and on the north by the Hartville uplift.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Type Log
Cross Section (from the Colorado Geological Survey)
Geologic Map











Greater Green River Basin

Greater Green River Basin oil & gas production

The Greater Green River Basin encompasses the southwest portion of Wyoming and extends south into northeastern Utah and northwestern Colorado. The footprint of the basin covers 54,269 km2 (20,953 square miles) in Wyoming. The Greater Green River Basin is bounded on the west by the Sevier overthrust belt, on the north by the Wind River Mountains, to the east by the Rawlins uplift and Sierra Madre Mountains, and to the south by the Uinta Mountains.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Moxa Arch Type Log
Rock Springs Uplift Type Log
Cross Sections
Geologic Map











Hanna Basin

Hanna Basin oil & gas production

The Hanna Basin is a small yet anomalously deep (9,144 m, 30,000 feet) intermontaine Laramide-style basin, approximately 64 km (40 miles) east-west and 40 km (25 miles) north-south. The basin is bounded to the north by the Shirley and Seminoe mountains, to the east by Simpson Ridge, to the south by the Medicine Bow Mountains and Park Range, and to the west by the Rawlins uplift.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Type Log
Cross Sections
Geologic Map












Laramie Basin

Laramie Basin oil & gas production

The Laramie Basin, in south east Wyoming, is a complexly downfolded Laramide basin. It trends north-south and is approximately 80 km (50 miles) long by 50 km (31 miles) wide. The Laramie basin is bounded by the Medicine Bow Mountains, the Hanna Basin on the northwest, the Shirley Mountains on the north, and the Laramie Mountains on the east.

Overthrust Belt

Overthrust Belt oil & gas production

The Overthrust Belt is a zone of highly deformed rock layers stretching from northern Alaska to Mexico. The portion of the Overthrust Belt in Wyoming that has been the target of oil and gas exploration efforts is over km (100 miles) wide and km (200 miles) long. It is bounded to the north by Jackson Hole, Wyoming, to the east by the Darby and Prospect Faults, and to the south by the Uinta Uplift.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development















Powder River Basin

Powder River Basin oil & gas production

The Powder River Basin area encompasses the Powder River structural basin and Powder River energy basin. The structural basin is an asymmetric trough in southeastern Montana and northeastern Wyoming that trends north-south for approximately 401 km (250 miles) and is 161 km (100 miles) wide. It is bounded to the south by the Casper arch, Laramie Mountains, and Hartville uplift; to the west by the Bighorn Mountains; to the north by the Miles City arch in Montana; and to the east by the Black Hills. The Powder River energy basin is loosely defined by the Cretaceous–Tertiary boundary observed in outcrops.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Type Log
Cross Sections
Geologic Map










Wind River Basin

Wind River Basin oil & gas production

The Wind River Basin, in central Wyoming, is an east-west elongate structural basin of typical Laramide style, 115 km (71 miles) wide by 300 km (186 miles) long. The primary basin axis trends northwest-southeast, and is asymmetrically located near the northern basin margin. The basin is bounded by the Wind River Mountains on the west, the Owl Creek Mountains on the north, the Casper arch to the east, and the Granite Mountains to the south.


Additional Information

Geology, Production, and Future Development
Type Log
Cross Sections
Geologic Map














Contact:
Ranie Lynds (307) 766-2286 Ext. 235
Rachel Toner (307) 766-2286 Ext. 248