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Abstract

The Green River and Hoback Basins of northwest Wyoming contain very large, regionally pervasive, basin-centered gas accumulations (BCGAs). Published estimates of the amount of in-place gas resources in the Green River Basin range from 91 to 5036 trillion cubic feet (tcf). The Hoback Basin, like the Green River Basin, contains a BCGA in Cretaceous rocks. In this chapter, we make a distinction between regionally pervasive BCGAs and BCGA sweet spots. The Pinedale field, located in the northern part of the Green River Basin, is one of the largest gas fields in America and is a sweet spot in this very large BCGA. By analogy with the Pinedale field, we have also identified a similar BCGA sweet spot in the Hoback Basin. BCGA sweet spots probably always have characteristics in common with conventional accumulations but are different in that they are always contiguous with the underlying more regional BCGA. In this way, they are inseparable from the more regionally pervasive BCGA. We conclude that the probability of forming sweet spots is highly dependent on the presence of faults and/or fractures that have served as conduits for hydrocarbons originating in regional BCGAs. Finally, we propose that the Paleocene “unnamed unit” overlying the Lance Formation be renamed the Wagon Wheel Formation.

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