Abstract

Wattenberg field is a continuous-type gas accumulation. Estimated ultimate recovery from current wells is 1.27 tcf of gas from the Lower Cretaceous Muddy (J) Sandstone. Mean gas resources that have the potential to be added to these reserves in the next 30 yr are 1.09 tcf; this will be primarily through infill drilling to recover a greater percentage of gas in place and to drain areas that are isolated because of geologic compartmentalization.

Greatest gas production from the Muddy (J) Sandstone in Wattenberg field occurs (1) from within the most permeable and thickest intervals of Fort Collins Member delta-front and nearshore-marine sandstones, (2) to a lesser extent from the Horsetooth Member valley-fill channel sandstones, (3) in association with a large thermal anomaly that is delineated by measured temperatures in wells and by vitrinite reflectance contours of 0.9% and greater, (4) in proximity to the bounding Mowry, Graneros, and Skull Creek shales that are the hydrocarbon source rocks and reservoir seals, and (5) between the Lafayette and Longmont right-lateral wrench fault zones (WFZs) with secondary faults that act as conduits in areas of the field.

The axis of greatest gas production is north 25 to 35 degrees northeast, which parallels the basin axis. Recurrent movement along five right-lateral WFZs that crosscut Wattenberg field shifted the Denver basin axis to the northeast and influenced depositional and erosional patterns of the reservoir and seal intervals. Levels of thermal maturity within the Wattenberg field are anomalously high compared to other areas of the Denver basin. The Wattenberg field thermal anomaly may be due to upward movement of fluids along faults associated with probable igneous intrusions. Areas of anomalous high heat flow within the field correlate with an increased and variable gas-oil ratio.

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