Date of Award
Master of Science (MS)
Central Montana’s Devil’s Basin is the home of the first wildcat well in Montana. However, numerous operators have failed to recover economic oil reserves in the nearly 100- year history of the play. Analysis of the geologic conditions within the Devil’s Basin leads to a modern understanding of the charge, reservoir, and trap potentials of the greater Devil’s Basin petroleum play. Primary focus within the play is the Heath and Tyler Formations. Evaluation of previous exploration guides the end narrative of recommendations to direct future production in the Devil’s Basin.
A representative geologic model describing the southeastern portion of the Devil’s Basin anticline helped identify whether previous exploration/drilling was on target. Further examination into completion strategies and production values drive the failure analysis. Based on this study, we believe the Devil’s Basin is not suitable for economic oil development. Thermal immaturity and the large quantities of water produced with little oil to show for it suggest that time, money, and effort be concentrated farther east in the neighboring Sumatra fields which produce out of the Heath.
Koerner, Alexander, "WELL-FAILURE ANALYSIS OF THE DEVIL’S BASIN IN MUSSELSHELL COUNTY, MT." (2018). Graduate Theses & Non-Theses. 188.