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Trapper Canyon tar sand deposit revisited

Steven S. Barrell
Trapper Canyon tar sand deposit revisited (in 1984 AAPG annual convention with divisions; SEPM/EMD/DPA, Anonymous)
AAPG Bulletin (April 1984) 68 (4): 452


In 1981, the Trapper Canyon tar sand deposit, Big Horn basin, Wyoming, was selected for investigation by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) because the deposit was threatened by immediate trespass. The purpose of the investigation was to resolve conflicts between mining and leasing interests and to pave the way for commercialization of the deposit. The Combined Hydrocarbon Leasing Act of 1981 was of little use in the immediate development of the deposit; it did not "grandfather in" existing oil and gas leases. Conditions governing development of the deposit were a 1965 Interior Department Solicitor's opinion based on the 1960 amendments to the Mineral Leasing Act of 1920, as reinterpreted by the BLM. The lessee must demonstrate that hydrocarbons can flow "naturally" by primary or secondary methods; tertiary recovery methods, are specifically excluded. This administrative position has resulted in several expensive recovery projects for a relatively uncomplicated deposit. There is no question that hydrocarbons underlie the area and that the most economical method of developing them would be to mine rather than pump the reservoir. There are serious questions as to whether the hydrocarbons of this deposit (2-5 degrees API, 30,000 cp) can be induced to flow naturally. A water-injection, reverse circulation test was conducted on the Tensleep Sandstone reservoir of Pennsylvanian age in June 1983. Hydrocarbons were recovered at injection water temperature of 160-165 degrees F (71-74 degrees C) but not at the lower temperatures (reservoir temperature of 50-60 degrees F, 10-16 degrees C) requisite under the governing interpretation. The lessee has been authorized by the BLM to conduct an additional recovery project, injecting propane at reservoir temperature. On April 1, 1984, the lease expires automatically returning the Trapper Canyon deposit to the simultaneous oil and gas system or the competitive lease system.

ISSN: 0149-1423
EISSN: 1558-9153
Coden: AABUD2
Serial Title: AAPG Bulletin
Serial Volume: 68
Serial Issue: 4
Title: Trapper Canyon tar sand deposit revisited
Title: 1984 AAPG annual convention with divisions; SEPM/EMD/DPA
Author(s): Barrell, Steven S.
Author(s): Anonymous
Affiliation: Univ. S.C., Columbia, SC, United States
Pages: 452
Published: 198404
Text Language: English
Publisher: American Association of Petroleum Geologists, Tulsa, OK, United States
Meeting name: AAPG annual convention with divisions; SEPM/EMD/DPA
Meeting location: San Antonio, TX, USA, United States
Meeting date: 19840520May 20-23, 1984
Summary: Y
Accession Number: 1985-051004
Categories: Economic geology, geology of energy sources
Document Type: Serial Conference document
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
N44°00'00" - N44°40'00", W109°00'00" - W108°00'00"
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2019, American Geosciences Institute.
Update Code: 1985
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