West Jordan, Utah–based Trail Energy (Trail) has staked a wildcat along the Overthrust Belt in southwestern Wyoming. The company has announced plans to drill the Bull Butte Federal #32-13, nw-sw 32-19n-118w, Lincoln County, as a projected 10,365’ Jurassic Nugget test.
This staking scales almost 1.5 miles northwest of a drillsite previously permitted by the company in November of 2012. That prospect, the Blue Butte Federal #34-14, sw-sw 34-19n-118w, was thought to be a 9,800’ Upper Plate Nugget test. Trail never drilled this prospect, and the permit was allowed to expire in December 2013.
The nearest exploration to Trail’s latest staking is roughly 1.5 miles to the southeast at the Bell Butte Unit #1, se-se 5-18n-118w, a deep Overthrust prospect drilled by Amoco Production. Three drillstem tests were conducted in this 16,400’ dry hole within the Bear River, Thaynes, Twin Creek, and Nugget from the overall interval of 8,920’–13,490’. No significant recoveries were reported in these zones, and the attempt was abandoned in 1980. Log tops of this failure include the Twin Creek at 8,038’, Nugget at 9,554’, Woodside at 12,425’, Dinwoody at 13,000’, and the Bear River came in at 13,245’ beneath a KB elevation of 7,480’.
Almost a mile southwest of the proposed Bull Butte Federal #32-13, Wood Energy drilled a Triassic Woodside test at the Bell Butte #1, se-sw 5-18n-118w. Two DSTs were conducted in the Thaynes from 11,960’ to 12,333’, where minor gas shows were recovered. This well was taken over by Amoco, who re-entered it and drilled an additional 296’, bottoming at a depth of 13,179’ in the Subthrust Cretaceous. Amoco ran drillstem tests from 13,029’ to 13,179’, where the pipe reversed out 5,859’ of fluid and 3,720’ of mud. No further testing was done, and the well was plugged in 1982.
Less than 2 miles southwest of Trail’s planned Bull Butte Federal #32-13, Chevron USA drilled an Overthrust test at the Federal #1-6K, nw-se 6-18n-118w. This deep endeavor bottomed in the Lower Plate of the Cretaceous at a depth of 13,102’. Chevron ran production casing in the well and perforated the Twin Creek and Dinwoody across the overall interval at 9,000’–12,810’. No commercial shows of hydrocarbons were encountered, however, and the attempt was abandoned in 1981.
Approximately 2 miles northeast of the Bull Butte Federal #32-13, Amoco drilled a shallow Jurassic test at the Champlin 386 Amoco-A #1, se-nw 21-19n-118w. No cores were cut or tests were conducted in this wildcat, and it was abandoned in 1985.
Trail has previously been active in this area of Wyoming’s Overthrust Belt. Approximately 5 miles northeast of their Bull Butte Federal #32-13, the company planned a shallow Overthrust wildcat at the Bell Butte #11-3, nw-nw 3-19n-118w. This prospect was projected to enter the Upper Plate Jurassic Nugget at a depth of 5,000’. The well was never drilled, however, and the permit was allowed to expire.
The most recent exploration in this area seeking Nugget potential occurred in late 2007 when Centennial, Colo.–based Hunter Energy (Hunter) drilled a failure almost a mile to the southeast of Trail’s expired Bell Butte #11-3. The Barnes Federal #24-2X, se-sw 2-19n-118w, tapped the Jurassic Nugget at a depth of 2,090’. No production casing was run, but Hunter did attempt an open-hole completion in the Nugget interval at 1,640’–2,090’. Results were negligible, and the prospect was abandoned. Log tops of this failure included the Evanston at 650’, Twin Creek at 1,590’, and the Nugget was picked at 1,820’, beneath a ground elevation of 7,045’. This attempt was a replacement well for the Robert Barnes Federal #24-2, se-sw 2-19n-118w, a projected 4,000’ Nugget test that Hunter had previously junked and abandoned at a depth of 903’.
It is interesting to note that in September of 2009, Trail drilled the Robert Barnes Federal #24-2C, se-sw 2-19n-118w, as an offset to Hunter’s Barnes Federal #24-2X. Trail’s venture bottomed in the Nugget at a depth of 1,983’. The company attempted to complete the well; however, swab tests of the Nugget below 1,700’ recovered only water with a slight trace of oil. This failure was plugged in September of 2011.
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