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Summary of Possible Future Petroleum Potential, Region 3, Western Rocky Mountains

Ambrose L. Lyth, JR.
Ambrose L. Lyth, JR.
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January 01, 1971


The western Rocky Mountain region covers approximately 500,000 sq mi (1,295,000 sq km) and includes all or parts of the states of Nevada, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, and Idaho (Fig. 1). This summary is based on the six individual area reports which follow. The areas are shown on Figure 1.

Most of the region is west of the Continental Divide, and represents one part of the continental United States which has considerable potential for future population growth and economic expansion. Geologically, the region is “diverse and complex.” The structural and stratigraphic geologic problems represented range from relatively simple to very complex.

Although there have been several periods of exploration by the petroleum industry in the region, certain areas (subprovinces) and deeper zones in other subprovinces are unexplored. The region has produced significant quantities of petroleum and has the geologic potential to contribute additional quantities in the future. Several important observations and estimates regarding past discoveries and future oil and gas possibilities of the region are summarized in Table 1.

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AAPG Memoir

Future Petroleum Provinces of the United States—Their Geology and Potential, Volumes 1 & 2

Ira H. Cram
Ira H. Cram
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
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Publication date:
January 01, 1971




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