Waters of The Oil- and Gas-Bearing Formations of the Rocky Mountains
The oil- and gas-bearing fields of the Rocky Mountain states are found in several more or less isolated structural basins (Fig. I). In each the factors that govern the accumulation and production of oil and gas are varied due to a wide range of geological conditions under which the beds were deposited and also due to differences in hydrostatic pressures in the different areas. Because of these differences, the quantity of water which may be present, or may be produced, in proximity to any oil field shows considerable range. Furthermore, the quality of the waters associated with the oil pools varies, probably to a large extent, because of variations in the nature of the containing strata.
The quality of an oil-field water is a matter for speculation as to its origin, but the quantity of water to be found in an oil field is a reality which calls for complete understanding for efficient operation. The abundance, or lack, of water in a producing formation below the oil, and the pressure of this water, have a bearing on the size of the wells and the time necessary for recovering the oil, as well as on the production practice to be employed in such recovery. Therefore, the writers have considered the regional factors bearing upon the water content of the oil and gas areas of the Rocky Mountains. A detailed discussion of the water problems in every field is impossible here.
Attention is limited to formations producing the important oil fields and