The Upper Cretaceous Blackhawk and Neslen Formations in the eastern Uinta basin contain large amounts of thermogenic gas that was generated from interbedded humic-rich source rocks. The geometry and distribution of hydrocarbon source and reservoir rocks are controlled by depositional environment. The Blackhawk, composed of laterally extensive sandstone and locally interbedded carbonaceous siltstone and minor coal, reflects deposition in nearshore marine and backshore environments. The Neslen contains organic-rich siltstone and mudstone with lesser amounts of carbonaceous shale, coal, and lenticular sandstone that formed in coastal and lower alluvial-plain depositional settings.
Potential reservoir sandstones are composed dominantly of monocrystalline quartz grains and sedimentary lithic fragments. Mechanical compaction during early burial was followed by the precipitation of quartz, carbonate, and barite later in the burial history. Variations in porosity and permeability (2-10%; < 1 md) reflects the presence of authigenic clay, mineral cements, and dissolved lithic grains. Natural fractures, cemented with carbonate, barite, and kaolinite, occur locally.
Active hydrocarbon generation occurred in the Neslen and Blackhawk during the Oligocene and Miocene when these units were near their maximum burial depth and temperature. The rate of hydrocarbon generation decreased from the late Miocene to the present, owing to widespread cooling that occurred in response to regional uplift and erosion associated with the development of the Colorado Plateau. Temporally equivalent rocks in other areas of the basin may have experienced similar diagenetic and hydrocarbon generation histories.
|Title||Marine and nonmarine gas-bearing rocks in Upper Cretaceous Blackhawk and Neslen Formations, eastern Uinta Basin, Utah: Sedimentology, diagenesis, and source rock potential|
|Authors||Janet K. Pitman, Karen J. Franczyk, Donald E. Anders|
|Publication Subtype||Journal Article|
|Series Title||American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Central Energy Resources Science Center|
Janet K Pitman
Janet K Pitman