Bluebell field is the largest oil-producing area in the Uinta basin of northern Utah. The field includes over 300 wells and has produced 137 MMbbl oil and 177 bcf gas from fractured Paleocene–Eocene lacustrine and fluvial deposits of the Green River and Wasatch (Colton) formations. Oil and gas are produced at depths of 10,500–13,000 ft (3330–3940 m), with the most prolific reservoirs existing in over-pressured sandstones of the Colton Formation and the underlying Flagstaff Member of the lower Green River Formation. Despite a number of high-recovery wells (1–3 MMbbl), overall field recovery remains low, less than 10% original oil in place. This low recovery rate is interpreted to be at least partly a result of completion practices. Typically, 40–120 beds are perforated and stimulated with acid (no proppant) over intervals of up to 3000 ft (900 m). Little or no evaluation of individual beds is performed, preventing identification of good-quality reservoir zones, water-producing zones, and thief zones. As a result, detailed understanding of Bluebell reservoirs historically has been poor, inhibiting any improvements in recovery strategies.
A recent project undertaken in Bluebell field as part of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Class 1 (fluvial-deltaic reservoir) Oil Demonstration program has focused considerable effort on reservoir characterization. This effort has involved interdisciplinary analysis of core, log, fracture, geostatistical, production, and other data. Much valuable new information on reservoir character has resulted, with important implications for completion techniques and recovery expectations. Such data should have excellent applicability to other producing areas in the Uinta basin with reservoirs in similar lacustrine and related deposits.