The Wind River Basin in Wyoming is one of many structural and sedimentary basins that formed in the Rocky Mountain foreland during the Laramide orogeny. The basin is nearly 200 miles long, 70 miles wide, and encompasses about 7,400 square miles in central Wyoming. The basin is bounded by the Washakie Range, Owl Creek uplift, and southern Bighorn Mountains on the north, the Casper arch on the east, the Granite Mountains on the south, and Wind River Range on the west.
Many important conventional oil and gas fields producing from reservoirs ranging in age from Mississippian through Tertiary have been discovered in this basin. In addition, an extensive unconventional overpressured basin-centered gas accumulation has been identified in Cretaceous and Tertiary strata in the deeper parts of the basin. It has long been suggested that various Upper Cretaceous marine shales, including the Cody Shale, are the principal hydrocarbon source rocks for many of these accumulations. With recent advances and success in horizontal drilling and multistage fracture stimulation, there has been an increase in exploration and completion of wells in these marine shales in other Rocky Mountain Laramide basins that were traditionally thought of only as hydrocarbon source rocks.
The two stratigraphic cross sections presented in this report were constructed as part of a project carried out by the U.S. Geological Survey to characterize and evaluate the undiscovered continuous (unconventional) oil and gas resources of the Niobrara interval of the Upper Cretaceous Cody Shale in the Wind River Basin in central Wyoming. The primary purpose of the cross sections is to show the stratigraphic relationship of the Niobrara equivalent strata and associated rocks in the lower part of the Cody Shale in the Wind River Basin. These two cross sections were constructed using borehole geophysical logs from 37 wells drilled for oil and gas exploration and production, and one surface section along East Sheep Creek near Shotgun Butte in the northwestern part of the basin. Both lines originate at the East Sheep Creek surface section and end near Clarkson Hill in the extreme southeastern part of the basin. The stratigraphic interval extends from the upper part of the Frontier Formation to the middle part of the Cody Shale. The datum is the base of the “chalk kick” marker bed, a distinctive resistivity peak or zone in the lower part of the Cody Shale. A gamma ray and (or) spontaneous potential (SP) log was used in combination with a resistivity log to identify and correlate units. Marine molluscan index fossils collected from nearby outcrop sections were projected into the subsurface to help determine the relative ages of the strata and aid in correlation.
|Title||Stratigraphic cross sections of the Niobrara interval of the Cody Shale and associated rocks in the Wind River Basin, central Wyoming|
|Authors||Thomas M. Finn|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Map|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Central Energy Resources Science Center|