July 31, 2012


Chamois Andersen
Communications & Public Outreach
(307) 766-2286 x231

WSGS Report Details the High-Tech Research Behind Locating Natural Gas Reserves

RI 62 A new report by the Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) is intended to help guide oil and natural gas exploration and development efforts in Wyoming as well as other Rocky Mountain states.

The publication entitled “Velocity Trends in Cretaceous Rocks in Wyoming Laramide Basins” presents research on the acoustic properties of rock-fluid systems found in Cretaceous-age rocks, allowing experts to better characterize geologic conditions and locations for extracting energy resources.

“The extraction of hydrocarbon fuels from sedimentary basins is integral to energy development, and over the years research such as this has enhanced industry’s exploration and production efforts,” said Tom Drean, director of the WSGS.

This research involves compiling data on Petrophysical studies (through well log analysis) that engineers and geoscientists use to determine the amount of hydrocarbons found in wells. “Wyoming basins are considered to be some of the most prolific of natural gas producers on the North American continent,” said Yuriy Ganshin, geophysicist and author of the report.

Thousands of natural gas wells occur within the Cretaceous strata in Wyoming’s basins and this helps account for the large number of economically viable natural gas reserves in the state, he said.

“The primary purpose of this study is to bridge the gap between 1-D borehole data and 3-D seismic data acquired in a tight-sand environment,” Ganshin said. A borehole is a narrow shaft drilled in the ground (vertically or horizontally), which is used for many different purposes, including the extraction of hydrocarbons such as petroleum or natural gas. Wells selected for this study are distributed throughout Wyoming's Laramide basins, the Greater Green River Basin, Powder River Basin, and Wind River Basin.

The audiences for this report include geoscientists, seismic interpreters, petroleum geologists, drilling engineers, well log analysts, petrophysicists, managers of oil and gas companies operating in the Rocky Mountain area, as well students and instructors of geology and geophysics courses.

Velocity Trends in Cretaceous Rocks in Wyoming Laramide Basins is available in a printed and DVD version via the WSGS (Online Store), by calling (307) 766-2286, ex. 224, or visiting the WSGS on the University of Wyoming campus in Laramie.


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