17-1 Kings Meadow Ranch discovery well, while providing good news
for the company and the industry in general, is shaping up as being
a real good development for the state of Utah, too.
of the Utah Geological Survey already have experienced the excitement
-- and spotlight -- that comes with a major discovery.
of it, they are very busy.
collected oil samples (confidential until September) from the well
and will do a source rock evaluation in order to determine oil migration
pathways and sources," said AAPG member Tom Chidsey, petroleum section
chief with the Utah Survey.
plan on doing an outcrop analog study of the Navajo Sandstone (the
producing reservoir at the Covenant Field) in the San Rafael Swell
to determine the 3-D reservoir properties, depositional environments,
etc.," he said.
for the state, Chidsey and Survey members, along with the regulatory
Utah Division of Oil, Gas and Mining, recently began meeting with
the Sevier County commissioners to review the play and its potential
economic impact on the county.
lease rates of federal and state lands in the area range from $10
to $1,200 an acre.
discovery is a potentially huge economic boom to Sevier and surrounding
counties, and the state of Utah," Chidsey said. "If the oil reserve
estimates of the area become a reality, Utah will make a significant
contribution in reducing the nation's dependency on foreign oil."
major oil find in Utah before the 17-1 Kings Meadow discovery was
the 1975 Pineview Field, east of Coalville in northern Utah. Pineview
has produced over 31 million barrels of oil and is still pumping
about 15,000 barrels a month, Chidsey said.
Covenant discovery is reportedly flowing nearly 900 barrels a day,
and already has tallied over 130,000 barrels since May.
believes there may be 25 additional geologic structures in central
Utah that could contain oil reserves comparable to the Pineview
or Anschutz Ranch East field in the Utah-Wyoming region of the thrust
have been exploring central Utah for over 50 years with little or
no success until now, Chidsey said, mainly because of "the extremely
at the well and along the east side of Sevier Valley, especially
near the mouth of Salina Canyon (a favorite geologic field trip
stop), are typically highly contorted and faulted," Chidsey said.
"As a result, what you see at the surface does not necessarily reflect
what exists 7,000 feet below.
trick is to identify deep drilling targets using state-of-the-art
seismic data, three-dimensional models, well information, high-quality
surface geologic maps, geochemical analyses and other techniques."
words, the industry is about to descend on a new, and for many,
wholly unexpected frontier.
discovery demonstrates central Utah has all the 'right stuff,'"
Chidsey said, "large anticlines, source rock, reservoir rock, sealing
rock and good timing."
interest in the area is extremely high," Chidsey noted. "The anticlines
must have had good timing."