Skip to Main Content
Book Chapter

Pressure Compartments in the Powder River Basin, Wyoming and Montana, as Determined from Drill-Stem Test Data

By
H. P. Heasler
H. P. Heasler
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
Ronald C. Surdam
Ronald C. Surdam
University of Wyoming Laramie, Wyoming, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
J. H. George
J. H. George
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona, Florida, U.S.A.
Search for other works by this author on:
Published:
January 01, 1994

Abstract

Drill-stem test (DST) pressures from oil and gas wells were analyzed in an attempt to determine the existence of pressure compartments in the Powder River basin. DST data for the entire basin were first sorted by geologic unit for the Mesaverde Formation (984 data values), Sussex Formation (1041 data values), Frontier Formation (821 data values), Muddy Formation (3888 data values), Dakota Formation (1157 data values), and Minnelusa Formation (4470 data values). Initial and final shut-in pressures (ISIP and FSIP) were graphed versus each other and versus depth and elevation to display functional relationships. Potentiometric surfaces were then constructed using the maximum of the ISIP and FSIP.

The pressure-elevation plots and potentiometric surfaces clearly show the existence of anomalously pressured zones in the Frontier, Muddy, and Dakota formations. The anomalously pressured zones as determined from the potentiometric surfaces are discrete areas on the scale of individual oil fields. The boundaries of the anomalously pressured areas as shown on the potentiometric surfaces are characterized by steep hydraulic head gradients of up to 12,000 ft (3600 m) of head difference across small horizontal distances of less than 1 mile. These gradients are interpreted as discontinuities in the fluid-flow regime of the Powder River basin. The internal shape of the anomalies is difficult to determine because data are sparse. However, piece-wise continuous least-squares analyses indicate that many of the anomalies contain a nearly horizontal internal potentiometric surface.

Given the discontinuous nature of the constructed potentiometric surfaces and the shape of the pressure anomalies, we conclude that oil-field-size pressure compartments exist in the Powder River basin in the Frontier, Muddy, and Dakota formations.

You do not currently have access to this article.

Figures & Tables

Contents

AAPG Memoir

Basin Compartments and Seals

Peter J. Ortoleva
Peter J. Ortoleva
Department of Chemistry Indiana University Bloomington, Indiana
Search for other works by this author on:
American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
61
ISBN electronic:
9781629810935
Publication date:
January 01, 1994

GeoRef

References

Related

Citing Books via

Close Modal
This Feature Is Available To Subscribers Only

Sign In or Create an Account

Close Modal
Close Modal