March 27, 2002
Resource Assessment for Jack Morrow Hills

The Wyoming State Geological Survey (WSGS) has released an assessment of oil and gas resources for the Jack Morrow Hills area in southwestern Wyoming. According to the new report, this area has high potential for oil and gas resources, with the possibility that under current technology, some 3.9 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas and 535 thousand barrels of oil could be discovered and developed. Using a natural gas price of $2.50 per thousand cubic feet (MCF) and an oil price of $22.50 per barrel, this resource, if produced, could generate revenues to the State of Wyoming and the affected counties (Sweetwater and Fremont) of about $1.88 billion.

Entitled Oil and gas resource assessment of the Jack Morrow Hills and surrounding areas, southwestern Wyoming, by L. Cook, R.H. De Bruin, C.S. Boyd, and R.W. Jones, the report is Wyoming State Geological Survey Open File Report 2002-1. The report contains a 25-page text, 15 figures (including three oversized, color map sheets), and four tables. The report sells for $25.00 and is available over-the-counter at the Survey’s office in Laramie, by phone order, or by Email (sales@wsgs.uwyo.edu). Add $3.00 for shipping and handling; Wyoming addresses add 6% sales tax. For more information contact Rod De Bruin at ext. 226.

The assessment covers the area addressed in the June, 2000 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) – Jack Morrow Hills Coordinated Activity Plan prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which includes 574,800 acres of federal land and 51,134 acres of state land. The BLM is in the process of revising the draft version of that document, and the WSGS report was prepared to furnish information on the area’s hydrocarbon potential.

Using public and industry sources, the WSGS analyzed data for an even larger area surrounding the Jack Morrow Hills. These data included published information on the regional geology (including the structure, stratigraphy, and geologic history), more specific geologic information (including seismic lines, cross sections constructed from geophysical logs of drill holes, and oil and gas “shows”), and information from known oil and gas fields in Wyoming thought to be analogs for occurrences in the Jack Morrow Hills.

For estimating the area’s resource potential, WSGS used the oil and gas “play” concept to develop parameters for hydrocarbon occurrences, first identifying in-place (“unrisked”) resources and then discounting these by applying risk factors known for each play. The WSGS also estimated additional oil and gas resources that might be produced from the area in the future, assuming technology in exploration, production, and other disciplines will advance. The additional resources that might be discovered and produced include 9.2 TCF of natural gas and 305,000 barrels of oil, returning revenues to the State of Wyoming and the affected counties estimated at $4.41 billion.

Press Release
from the Office of the Wyoming State Geologist
Ron Surdam, State Geologist