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The Douglas Oil Field 

Converse County, Wyo. 



The Muddy Greek Oil Field 

Carbon County, Wyo. 



C. E. JAMISON, State Geolatiat 



X 



Bulletin 3 



ies B 



The Douglas Oil Field 

Converse County, Wyo. 



The Muddy Greek Oil Field 

Carbon County, Wyo. 



G. E. JAMISON 

state Geologist 




Ebratum.— Page 23, paragraph five, read 1913 for 1912 



CHEYBNNE, WYO. 
THB S. A« BRISTOL CO., PRINTERS AND BINDERS 

I912 



CONTENTS 



THE DOUGLAS OIL FIELD 

PAOS 

Introduction 5 

Location of the Field 5 

Topography ft 

Drainage 7 

Geology 7 

Stratigraphy 7 

General features ^ 

Pre-Cambrian rocks 11 

Deadwood formation , . . . 11 

Pennsylvanian and Mississippian 12 

Embar f<»ination 13 

Chugwater formation 14 

Sundance formation 15 

Morrison formation 15 

Lower Cretaceous rocks 16 

Dakota sandstcHie 17 

Fort Benton formation 18 

Laramie formation 19 

White River formation 20 

Structure 20 

General features 20 

Douglas anticline 21 

Phillips anticline 22 

OU 22 

Development 22 

Wdl records 27 

• Character 37 

Future development , 38 

Brenning field 40 

La Bonte field 40 

THE MUDDY CREEK OIL FIELD 

Introduction 43 

Topography 44 



4 CONTENTS 

PAOK 

Geology 44 

Structure 44 

Stratigraphy 44 

General features 45 

Mesaverde formation 46 

Lewis shale 46 

Laramie formation 46 

Fort Union formation 46 

Wasatch formation 47 

Oil 47 

Character 49 

Future development 49 

Water supply 50 

Coal 50 



ILLUSTRATIONS. 



Plate I. 
Plate II. 
Plate III. 
Plate IV. 



Plate V. 

Plate VI. 
Plate VII. 
Plate VIII. 



Oil-saturated sandstone, Muddy Creek field Frontispiece 

Map showing areas discussed facing page 6 

Table Mountain, Douglas oil field facing page 18 

A. — ^Conglomerate in White River formation, 
Douglaa field; B.— Chalk Butte, White Riv- 
er formation near Douglas facing page 22 

A. — Standard rig in Douglas field; B. — Drill- 
ing machine in Douglas field facing page 36 

Map of Douglas oil field facing page 40 

Oil sand, Muddy Creek oil field facing page 47 

Map of Muddy Creek oil field facing page 50 



The Dou^as Oil Field 

Converse County, Wyo. 

By G. E. JAMISON 



INTRODUCTION. 

In May, 1911, a brief inspection was made of the oil 
^fields adjacent to Douglas, Wyoming, but no detailed 
examination was attempted until October, 1911, when 
field work was begun. The investigation was commenced 
October 3rd and was continued until October 26th, when 
on account of the advanced state of the season, field work 
was abandoned. This report is, then, based upon twenty- 
three days actual work in the field. 

Acknowledgments are due Mr. J. Bevan Phillips and 
Mr. C. H. McWhinnie for much valuable information, 
for records of the various wells, and for many courtesies 
extended. 

LOCATION OF THE FIELDS 

For convenience the Douglas oil fields are here separ- 
ated into the Brenning field, lying along the north flank 
of the Douglas anticline, and extending from Cottonwood 
creek. Township 32 North, Range 74 West, to Sand creek, 
Township 32 North, Range 73 West, and the La Bonte 
field, which lies in Townships 30, 81 and 32 North, Ranges 
71 and 72 West. In the La Bonte field, about seven miles 



south of Douglas, a second anticlinal fold appears, called 
by ICniglit* the Phillips dome. 

Douglas, a town of some 2,300 population, is the 
principal town and supply point of this region, being sit- 
uated some twelve miles east of the Brenning field and seven 
to fifteen miles north of the La Bonte field. The oil fields 
are readily accessible from Douglas, wagon roads crossing 
the anticline at several points. Douglas is the center of 
a sheep raising country, supports two banks, two news- 
papers, and an electric lighting plant. It is the county 
seat of Converse county, and is the permanent site of the 
State Fair, the ofllce of the secretary of the State Fair Asso- 
ciation being located there. 

Twelve miles west of Douglas is the Brenning Basin, 
where the principal development in the oil fields has been 
carried on. 

TOPOGRAPHY. 

Viewed from a distance the region of the Douglas oil 
fields presents itself as a rolling plain, treeless and barren, 
with the Douglas anticline, and here and there an isolated 
butte, rising above the general level. In the Brenning 
Basin the post-Carboniferous strata have been cut down 
by erosion, and on their upturned edges beds of Tertiary 
age have been deposited, through which La Prele creek 
has cut its way. Table Mountain, a high . escarpment of 
Tertiary sandstones and conglomerates, rises to an elevation 
of 500 feet or more above the level of the surrounding 
country, and, dipping gently to the south, forms the eastern 
limit of the Brenning Basin, while the southern border is 

♦ Knight, W. C. The Bonanza; Cottonwood and Douglas Oil Fields. 
School of Mines, University of Wyoming; Petroleum Series No. 6. Laramie, 
Wyoming, 1903. 



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formed by the long» high crest of the Douglas anticline^ 
occupied by beds of Carboniferous age. Near the anti- 
cline are several isolated ridges and buttes of Dakota sand- 
stone, from the foot of which the plain stretches in unbroken 
relief to a low, pine covered ridge oi Laramie beds, some 
five miles ncniiiward. 

In the western portion of the La Bonte field the Doug- 
las antidine is profoimdly faulted, the Carboniferous 
rocks disappear, and a second anticlinal fold is seen, which 
like the Douglas anticline, terminates in a dome near the 
Platte river. North of these folds, and extending to 
Douglas, Tertiary sandstones, which have been carved 
by ^osion into many picturesque, turreted buttes, prevail. 

DRAINAGE. 

The oil fields are drained by La Bonte, Wagon Hound, 
Bed Tick, La Prele, Alkali and Cottonwood creeks, all 
tributaries of the Platte river. La Prele and La Bonte 
are the largest of these creeks, affording running water 
at all seasons of the year, while in the dry seasons water 
is to be found in the other creeks only near their heads. 
With the exception of Alkali creek, all of the above men- 
tioned streams afford excellent water for drinking and dom- 
estic purposes. The water of Alkali creek, although strong- 
ly alkaline, is not unfit for domestic use. 

GEOLOGY. 

The geology of the oil fields, although simple in itself, 
is difficult of study, as the rocks of the Triassic, Jurassic, 
and Cretaceous systems are, for the greater part, masked 
by Tertiary strata, and the structure is further complicated 
by a series of faults. From pre-Cambrian time to the close 



of the Carboniferous the strata are well exposed in the 
Douglas anticline, but from Carboniferous to the close 
of the Cretaceous era there are but few exposures, the 
Triassic, Jurassic, and Upper Cretaceous rocks being no- 
where exposed in their full extent. In the Brenning field 
there are no exposures of Cretaceous rocks between the 
Dakota and Laramie formations, nor is the earliest Ter- 
tiary in evidence. Near the Platte river, in the La Bonte 
field, a portion of the Benton shales is shown, and some 
three miles north of the Brenning Basin is an outcrop of 
the middle portion of the Laramie, which extends to and 
beyond the Platte river north of Douglas. 

Below is given a table showing the relations and gen- 
eral characteristics of the formations exposed in this dis- 
trict : 



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—11— 

PRE-CAMBRIAN ROCKS. 

Granites and schists of pre-Cambrian age are exposed, 
forming the core of the Douglas anticline, near the head 
of Cottonwood creek in Section 13, T. 32 N., R. 74 W.; 
east of the La Prele reservoir in Sections 25 and 26, T. 
32 N., R. 73 W.; and near Wagon Hound creek in Septmi* 
15, T. 31 N., R. 72TV. 

Several attempts have been made to develop copper 
mines in the pre-Cambrian schists near the head of Cot- 
tonwood creek, but as yet these efforts have not met with 
success. 

CAMBRIAN SYSTEM. 

DEADWOOD FORMATION. 

Lying upon the schists and granites is a series of sed- 
imentary rocks which is believed to represent the Deadwood 
formation of the Wind River Mountains. The formation 
is well exposed on Cottonwood creek in Section 13, T.. 
32 N., R. 74 W., where it consists of brown and purple 
quartzitic sandstone, 24 feet in thickness, with occasional 
lenticular masses of fine-grained conglomerate. Next above 
this sandstone are 28 feet of brown and purple shales and 
shaly sandstones with one foot of buflP limestone at the top, 
which are overlain by a bed of fine-grained conglomerate, 
consisting principally of quartz pebbles, the largest of which 
are not more than two inches in diameter. The average 
thickness of this member is 18 feet. At the top of the 
formation are 38 feet of drab and pink limestone, somewhat 
slabby. The total thickness of this formation, as measured 
on Cottonwood creek, is 109 feet. 



—12— 

AGS. 

No fossils were obtained from this formation but 
from its lithological character and stratigraphical position 
it is believed to be equivalent to the Deadwood formation 
of the Wind River Mountains, and of Middle Cambrian 
age. 

CARBONIFEROUS SYSTEM. 

forming the crest and the high outer flanks of the 
Douglas anticline, and extending from Wagon Hound creek. 
Section 23, T. 31 N., R. 72 W., to and beyond the western 
limits of the Brenning oil field, is a thick mass of sediments 
believed to be of Carboniferous age. At the top of the 
group are 432 feet of soft, gray, cross-bedded sandstone, 
probably equivalent to the Tensleep sandstone of the Wind 
River Mountains, underlain by. 87 feet of buff and gray 
limestone. Below the limestone are 226 feet of pink and 
gray crossbedded sandstone, lying upon gray and tan 
limestone 21 feet in thickness. Underlying the tan lime- 
stone are 263 feet of pink and gray massive sandstone, 
beneath which, and resting upon the Deadwood formation, 
are massive gray, buff, and tan limestones, with irregular 
streaks of silica in the middle and lower portions. The 
basal limestone was found to vary from 350 feet to 430 
feet in thickness. 

In La Prele canyon the upper beds of this group form 
the crest of the Douglas anticline, making a complete arch 
from the Brenning Basin on the north to the La Prele 
reservoir on the south. At all other points, west of Bed 
Tick and Wagon Hound creeks, these beds form the north- 
ern limb of the Douglas anticline, appearing in a high ridge 



—13— 

which rises from 300 to 700 feet above the surrounding 
country. The beds are cut by faults near La Prele canyon, 
T. 32 N., R. 73 W., near the head of Sand creek in Section 
25, T. 32 N., R. 73 W., and on Wagon Hound creek in 
Section 23, T. 31 N., R. 72 W., further east of which they 
do not reappear. The group varies in thickness from 1412 
feet on Cottonwood creek to 1555 feet on Bed Tick creek. 

FOSSILS AND AGE. 

The middle portion of the basal limestone yielded 
Chonetes loganensis and Spirifer centronatus^ forms charac- 
teristic of the Madison limestone, Mississippian age. The 
limestone beds in the middle portion of the group yielded 
Spirifer semireticulatus, Productus cora and P. punctatus. 
These forms range through both the Mississippian and 
Pennsylvanian series. The group is believed to be equiva- 
lent to the Tensleep, Amsden, and Madison formations of 
the Wind River range, though the basal limestone resembles 
lithologically, and may be equivalent to the Bighorn lime- 
stone, and of Ordovician age. 

EMBAR FORMATION. 

Extending along the northern foot of the Douglas 
anticline is a narrow outcrop of beds, extremely cherty 
near the base, with sandy shales and thin limestone at the 
top, which, without question, represents the Embar forma- 
tion of the Lander district. The outcrop is seen at most 
points where the Pennsylvanian beds occupy the crest of 
the anticline, but is broken by a number of faults which 
apparently do not affect the older formations. 

The formation consists mostly of cherty beds with, 
near the top, ten feet of sandy shales overlain by five feet 
of slabby limestone. The lower beds are made up almost 



—14— 

entirely of chert concretions with small amounts of lime- 
stone. 

FOSSILS AND AGE. 

Large numbers of fossils were obtained from the sandy- 
shales and limestone at the top of the formation, the fol- 
lowing forms having been identified : 

Spiriferina jndchra Aviculopecten lUahensis 

Produdus muUistrioius 

The fossils listed above are found in the Embar beds 
of the Wind River Mountains, Spiriferina pulchra being 
especially characteristic of that formation. 

TRIASSIC SYSTEM. 

CHUGWATER FORMATION. 

Occupying the crest of the anticlines east of the Wagon 
Hound fault in the La Bonte field are beds of red sandstone 
and shale, with near the top a bed of gypsum, which. are 
undoubtedly the representative of the Chugwater formation 
of the Lander region. The formation is nowhere exhibited 
in its full extent but it probably does not exceed 1500 feet 
in thickness. Beginning at La Bonte creek and extending to 
the Wagon Hound fault the Red Beds occupy the crest of 
the Douglas anticline, while on the Phillips anticline they 
are exposed over a wide extent of country in Township 
31 North, Ranges 71 and 72 West. In the Brenning Basin 
region an exposure of Chugwater beds of limited extent 
is found near the mouth of La Prele canyon, the natural 
bridge in Section 21, T. 32 N., R. 73 W., being composed 
of yellow sandstone conglomerate which occurs near the 
base of the formation. 



—15— 

AGE. 

No fossils were obtained from this formation but its 
position above beds of Carboniferous age and below known 
Jurassic beds leads to the belief that it is the Triassic repre- 
sentative in this region, though it may be Permian in part. 



JURASSIC SYSTEM. 

SUNDANCE FORMATION. 

Overlying the Chugwater Red Beds is a series of gray 
sandstones, shales and limestones, which, where exposed, 
presents the features characteristic of the Sundance in 
other portions of Wyoming. The formation is not fully 
exposed in the Douglas oil fields, but in limestone beds 
near the top of the formation characteristic Jurassic fossils 
were found at several points. 

FOSSILS AND AGE. 

The following Jurassic fossils were collected on Cotton- 
wood creek from a bed of limestone near the top of th6 
formation : 

Belemnites densus Camptonectes beUistriatus 

Pinna kingii 

MORRISON FORMATION. 

The pink, yellow and purple shales and sandstones 
of the Morrison formation outcrop in limited exposures 
at the extreme eastern and western limits of the oil fields. 
The formation is not exhibited in its entire thickness in 
this region, nor were any fossils obtained, but it is here 
provisionally classed as of Jurassic age. 



—16— 
CRETACEOUS SYSTEM. 

LOWER CRETACEOUS ROCKS. 

Overlying the variegated shales of the Morrison for- 
mation are sandstones and shales believed to be of Lower 
Cretaceous age, which are of importance in this district 
as the basal sandstone is probably the source of the oil 
obtained in the wells drilled in this field. These shales 
and sandstones, together with the overlying Dakota sand- 
stone have heretofore been classed as the Dakota Group, 
comprising the Lakota, Fuson and Dakota formations of 
Darton*. However, at several points in this area evidences 
of a slight planation unconformity were noted, denoting 
that there was at least a short interval when this region 
was land, between the deposition of beds, here classed as 
Lower Cretaceous, and the Dakota sandstone. As no 
fossils were obtained from this formation by which its age 
could be conclusively determined no distinctive name is 
here proposed for it. 

The formation is soft and not well exhibited, usually 
being partly concealed by talus from the cliffs of Dakota 
sandstone which occur above. In the neighborhood of 
Cottonwood creek the basal sandstone of the Lower Creta- 
ceous formation, together with the Dakota sandstone, 
forms a high outlying ridge with a slight trough or gulch 
representing the upper shales of the Lower Cretaceous, 
between the two sandstones. At other points the Lower 
Cretaceous rocks form the inner slope of the Dakota hog- 
back, being partly concealed. Sections of these beds, 
measured in the Brenning Basin, are given below: 

*Darton, N. H. Geology and Water Resources of the Northern Portion 
of the Black Hills and Adjoining Regions. U. S. Geological Survey Profes- 
sional Paper 65. 1909. 



—IT- 
SECTION NEAR THE HEAD OF ALKALI CREEK. 

Tan shale with thin brown sandstone 47 feet 

Hard brown and buff sandstone 22 feet 

Soft, massive, gray sandstone — the oil sand 31 feet 

Total 100 feet 

SECTION ON COTTONWOOD CREEK. 

Tan shale 1 foot 

Brown sandstone 2 feet 

Tan shale with thin intercalated sandstone 15 feet 

Brown sandstone 4 feet 

Tan shale .• 6 feet 

Brown sandstone 2 feet 

Tan shale 5 feet 

Green shale 1 foot 

Pink shale 1 foot 

Tan shale 3 feet 

Purple shale 4 feet 

Tan sandstone 6 feet 

Tan shale 4 feet 

Hard brown sandstone 29 feet 

Soft, massive, coarse-grained light buff sandstone (impreg- 
nated with oil GO® feet north) 28 feet 

Total Ill feet 



DAKOTA SANDSTONE. 

The Dakota formation, consisting of brown and buff, 
shaly, ripple marked sandstones, is exposed to a slight ex- 
tent in the Brenning Basin, and more prominently in the 
La Bonte oil field, between Wagon Hound and La Bonte 
creeks. In the Brenning field the Dakota sandstone is 
broken by faults at several points, its outcrop forming a 
number of isolated ridges, while near the western boundary 
of this region its course is changed by faulting from N. 
70° W. to N. 6° E. E^st of the Wagon Hound fault, 
between Wagon Hound and La Bonte creeks it is well 
exposed, forming high flanking ridges on either side of the 
anticline. Sections of this formation measured in the Bren- 
ning Basin and on Wagon Hound creek are given below: 



SECTION ON WAGON HOUND CREEK. 

Slabby brown sandstone 7.0 feet 

Brown shalv sandstone, ripple marked 4.5 feet 

Yellow shale 2.0 feet 

BufiP slabby sandstone 6.2 feet 

Gray slabbv sandstone 9.4 feet 

Brown sandstone, ripple marked, shaly 11.0 feet 

Gray shale 2.5 feet 

Buff slabby sandstone 4.6 feet 

Brown sandstone, ripple marked 3.5 feet 

Total 50.7 feet 

SECTION IN BRENNING BASIN. 

Brown, slabby sandstone 17.0 feet 

Shaly, brown sandstone .' 8.5 feet 

Gray sandstone 3.5 feet 

Buff sandstone 3.0 feet 

Gray shaly sandstone, ripple marked 4.0 feet 

Brown sandstone 3.0 feet 

Tan shaly sandstone, ripple marked 2.9 feet 

Buff sandstone, ripple marked 1.0 feet 

Gray shale 0.5 feet 

Buff sandstone 0.5 feet 

Gray sandstone 2.0 feet 

Brown sandstone 0.5 feet 

Buff shale 1.5 feet 

Brown sandstone, ripple marked 1.0 foot 

Yellow shale 2.5 feet 

Total 51.4 feet 

AGE. 

No fossils were obtained from this formation but there 
seems no doubt that it is equivalent to the Dakota sandstone 
of the Wind River Mountains. 

FORT BENTON FORMATION. 

The syncline between the Douglas and Phillips anti- 
clines, east of the Wagon Hound fault, is occupied by shales 
and sandstones of the Benton formation. The formation 
is not exposed in its entire thickness,, the basal beds being 
concealed and the upper portion removed by erosion. 
However, at several points exposures of shales of the Mowry 
beds, and an overlying sandstone, were noted. 



—19— 

In the Brenning field this formation does not appear 
at the surface, being concealed by strata of Tertiary age, 
but it is, no doubt, penetrated by some of the oil wells 
drilled in this district. Sections of the lower part of this 
formation, measured in the La Bonte field, are given below : 

SECTION ON NORTH FLANK OF THE DOUGLAS ANTICLINE. 

Upper portion missing. 

Sandstone, buff and yeUow 17 feet 

Concealed 419 feet 

Shale, dark gray 4 feet 

Concealed 9 feet 

Shale, white, calcareous 5 feet 

Concealed 91 feet 

Sandstone, buff 2 feet 

• Concealed 59 feet 

Shale, black 11 feet 

Sandstone, buff 4 feet 

Shale, black, partly concealed 26 feet 

SECTION ON SOUTH FLANK OF PHILLIPS ANTICLINE. 

Upper portion missing. 

Shale, dark gray . ., 71 feet 

Concealed 12 feet 

Shale, Ught gray 32 feet 

Sandstone, buff 3 feet 

Concealed 71 feet 

FOSSILS. 

No fossils were obtained from this formation but it 
is unquestionably equivalent to the Ft. Benton formation. 

LARAMIE FORMATION. 

In the extreme northern portion of this area is an out- 
crop of yellow, pink and purple shales, and yellow, buff 
and brown sandstones, which form a low ridge, a prominent 
landmark in this region on account of the growth of stunted 
pines which occupy its crest. Neither the base nor the 
top of this formation are exposed, but is believed to lie 
conformably on the Colorado-Montana group below, and 
to be of Lower Laramie age. 



—20— 

AGE. 

In the lower part of the exposure of this formation 
is a stratum of dark brown sandstone which contains im- 
pressions of leaves and other plant remains. The leaves 
are much folded and the margins imperfect so that little 
can be said in regard to them, but it is believed that they 
represent a Laramie flora. 

TERTIARY SYSTEM. 

WHITE RIVER FORMATION. 

Rocks of Tertiary age occupy a large portion of the 
surface in this district, lying unconformably upon the 
Laramie and older formations, and in the Brenning field 
conceafing all of the Upper Cretaceous rocks from the Dak- 
ota sandstone to the Laramie. That portion of the for- 
mation which is exposed consists of clayey sandstone, over- 
lain by a conglomerate member made up almost entirely 
of granite pebbles and boulders, the latter ranging up to 
two feet in diameter. No fossils were obtained from this 
formation by the writer but remains of Mesohippus bairdiy 
Merycoidodon gracilis, M,^ culbertsoni and Stylemus nehras- 
eensis have been obtained from these beds south of Douglas 
at various times. All of the above-named vertebrates are 
characteristic of the White River group and of middle 
Oligocene age. 

STRUCTURE. 

The principal structural features of the Douglas oil 
fields have a general northwesterly and southeasterly trend, 
being roughly parallel to the main range of the Laramie 



—21— 

Mountains. The broader features are: (1) The Douglas 
anticline, a rather regular fold, though broken by faults 
at several points; (2) A narrow, shallow syncline; (3) 
The Phillips anticline, a minor fold, parallel to the Douglas 
anticline. 

THE DOUGLAS ANTICLINE. 

The crest of the Douglas anticline is exposed at only 
a few points in this region, though the Carboniferous beds 
which usually occupy the crest are found on the north 
flank of the anticline, extending from Wagon Hound creek 
to the western limits of this area. Triassic, Jurassic, and 
Cretaceous beds are very slightly exposed in the Brenning 
field on its north flank, dipping 18° to 20° north. East 
of Wagon Hound creek, in the La Bonte field, Triassic 
strata are found at its crest, with Dakota sandstone forming 
its flanks, dipping rather steeply to the south and gently 
to the north. Faults are developed at many points along 
the Douglas anticline, the horizontal movement ranging 
from a few feet to more than two miles. Along Wagon 
Hound creek is a large fault which has caused a displace- 
ment of about two miles horizontally and 3500 to 4000 
feet vertically, bringing pre-Cambrian rocks in contact 
with Benton shales. In the Brenning oil field the Dakota 
and Lower Cretaceous rocks are much broken by faults 
which, while fracturing, did not cause movement in the 
older strata. On Cottonwood creek the strike of the Creta- 
ceous strata is changed from N. 70° W. to N. 6° E., while 
on Oil Spring creek these beds are cut off by faulting and 
do* not again appear at the surface, farther west in this 
district. The Douglas anticline terminates in the La 
Bonte field. Section 14, T. 30 N. R. 72 W. in a steep sharp 
dome, known as the "Poison Lake Dome". 



—22— 

PHILLIPS ANTICUNE- 

In the La Bonte oil field the Wagon Hound fault has 
exposed a minor fold, which is here called the PhiUips 
anticline. It is exposed only m the extreme eastern portion 
of this district, terminating in a wide dome near the Platte 
river in T. 31 N. R. 71 W., Chugwater beds appearing at 
its crest, while Dakota sandstones occupy its flanks. West 
of the Wagon Hound fault the Phillips anticline does not 
appear at the surface and its position can only be inferred. 
It probably passes beneath the northern escarpment of 
Table Mountain, becoming flattened m the Prenning oil 
field to a mere flexure of the strata. The gas encountered 
in the Brenning field has, no doubt, accumulated along the 
crest of this anticline. 

Section 1 Plate VI illustrates the probable position 
and structure of the Douglas anticline in the Brenning oil 
field. 

OIL. 

The existence of oil in this district is indicated by the 
presence of oil saturated sandstones near La Prele Canyon 
and on Cottonwood Creek, and by bubbles of oil arising 
in the bed of Box Elder Creek about six miles west of the 
Brenning field. Attention was first attracted to the possi- 
bilities of the Brenning field by the discovery of oil saturated 
sandstone, uncovered in digging an irrigation ditch in Sec- 
tion 9, T. 32 N., R. 73 W., about one mile north of La Prele 
Canyon. The following year, 1896, the Wyoming Valley 
Oil Company drilled two wells, located in Sections 8 and 9, 
T. 32 N., R. 73 W*, respectively, obtaining a small amount 
of oil and a considerable quantity of water in each. In 
1899, E. Straup, of Pennsylvania, drilled a well on Section 



Wyoming Statb Gbolooist BtiLLETtN 3, Series B— Plate IV 




A, — Conglomerate in the White River Formation 



B.— Chai-k Buttb, White River Formation 



—2a— 

9, T. 32 N., R. 73 W., obtaining gas, oil and water at a 
depth of 300 feet. 

The Western Oil Company, (later merged into the 
Douglas Oil Fields, Ltd.) was formed in 1902 and took over 
the holdings of the Wyoming Valley Company and of 
Straup, and began drilling on Section 4, T. 32 N., R. 73 
E. Small amounts of oil and gas were obtained, the well 
being pumped spasmodically during one month and yielding 
a total of 20 barrels of oil. 

Since 1902 this company has drilled nine additional 
wells, obtaining gas in some and oil in others. One of 
the wells is estimated to yield 593,000 cubic feet of gas 
in 24 hours, the pressure at the well being 165 pounds per 
square inch. The gas from this and other wells was used 
for fuel under the boilers while drilling was in progress, 
and is now being used for fuel and lights at several of the 
ranches in the Brenning Basin. 

The Wyoming Oil & Development Company began 
operations in 1904 and continued to drill intermittently 
until the fall of 1907, 36 wells being drilled in all, oil or gas 
being obtained in most of them. The total oil production 
of this company to date is estimated to be 5,000 barrels, 
the best well producing from 40 lo 50 barrels per day when 
first brought in. 

The LaPrele Oil Company has drilled 4 wells, obtaining 
gas in three. 

At the present time the Douglas Oil Fields, Ltd. and 
the Wyoming Development Company are preparing to 
recommence active operations in the spring of 1912. 

WELLS. 

In the following table is given a list of the wells drilled 
in this field up to the present time: 



24 



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Descriptive Notes on Wells Listed 

in Table 



4. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SW. 34 Sec. 
8, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. This well was sunk too near the out- 
crop of the Dakota and Lower Cretaceous sandstones 
to obtain oil. The Dakota was probably entered at 48 
feet, and the Morrison at 272 feet. The well was located 
near one of the fault planes of this region, which probably 
accounts for the water at 294 feet. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 4 

0- 48 feet Wash and brown gumbo. 

48- 50 feet Oil sand, dark lubricating oil. 

50- 70 feet Brown shale. 

70- 77 feet •. Oil sand. 

77- 97 feet Shale. 

97-128 feet Black gumbo. 

128-238 feet Brown shale. 

238-245 feet Black gumbo. 

245-255 feet Coarse rock. 

255-262 feet Lead-colored gumbo. 

262-272 feet Wash. 

272-278 feet White gumbo. 

278-282 feet '. Dark shale. 

282-284 feet Wind cap rock. 

284-302 feet White water sand. Water over- 
flows hole. 

Water at 80, 254 and 294 feet. 

5. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. 34 Sec. 
8, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. Like No. 4, this well was too close 
to the outcrop to obtain oil. The oil stratum in the Lower 
Cretaceous has not vet been reached! 



—28— 

SECTION OF . WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 5. 

0- 25 feet Wash. 

25- 55 feet Gray shale. 

55-108 feet Blue and gray shale. Good oil showing. 
108-110 feet Brown sugary oil sand. Gas and oil. Gas burned over 

the hole. 
110-140 feet Yello\v shale. 

140-145 feet Greenish sand. Good oil showing with some gas. 
145-160 feet Grav shale. 
160-165 feet Brown gumbo. 

165-300 feet Brown shale showing oil and some gas. 
300-305 feet Purple and lilac gumbo. 
302-365 feet Sandstone. 
Water at 55 feet. 

6. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. 34 Sec. 
8, T. 32 R. 73. Although it is stated in the record of this 
well that the sandstone in which oil was obtained is of Dako- 
ta age, such is not the case. The Lower Cretaceous sand- 
stones, which are believed to be the source of the oil, would 
be encountered in this well at from 340 to 400 feet greater 
depth. The oil in this and other wells in the Brenning 
field has leaked upward along fault planes, and has accumu- 
lated in the various sandstones in the Benton formation, 
usually below beds of bentonite which form an impervious 
barrier to its further progress. 

RECORD OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 6. 

0- 65 feet Gravel and sand. 

65-127 feet Green shale. 

127-165 feet Gray shale. 

165-175 feet Green oil sand. 

175-215 feet Light gray shale with a pink tint. 

215-255 feet Brown clay. 

255-295 feet Black shale. 

295-300 feet Black sand. 

300-305 feet Gray shale and sand. 

305-311 feet Dark gray shale and sand. 

311-324 feet Black clay. 

324-325 feet Dakota sand. Struck oil. 

Water at 65 feet. 

7. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. J^ Sec. 
8, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. Dakota sandstone is reported as 



—29— 

having been encountered in this well. However, it is 
probable that the bottom of the well is in one of the sand- 
stones of the Benton formation. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 7. 

0- 74 feet Gravel wash and gray shale. 
74-124 feet Brown shale^ » 

124-184 feet Gray shale. 
184-220 feet Brown and gray shale. 
220-270 feet Blue and brown shale. 
270-296 feet Brown dope. Very slow drilling. 
296-346 feet Gray rock, shell, mixed with yellow shale and a little 
sand. Turned into a brown dope which stands up well. 
346-356 feet Benton shale. Caves badly. 
356-363 feet Paraffin. 
363-405 feet Benton shale. 

405-415 feet Gray shale. Very good oil showing. 
415-423 feet Gray shale, black dope and a little Benton sand. Oil. 
423-600 feet Benton shale. 
600-601 feet Artesian water sand. 
601-602 feet A pinch of Dakota oil sand. 
Water at 74, 220 and 601 feet. 

Note. — "Paraffin" where occurring in the well records probably refers 
to bentonite. 

9. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. J^ Sec. 
9, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. This well, which produces gas, is 
located on or near the crest of the Phillips anticline. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 9. 

0- 55 feet Dark gray shale. 

55-130 feet Light green shale. 

130-160 feet Blue shale. 

160-190 feet Light brown shale. 

190-250 feet Light blue shale. 

250-337 feet Brown and slate-colored shale. 

337-370 feet Light brown shale. 

370-405 feet Slate-colored shale. 

405-406 feet Gas sand. 

Water at 55 feet. 

10. Wyoming Oil and Development Co. NW. 3^ 
Sec. 8, T. 32 N. R. 72 W. Located near the north escarp- 
ment of Table Mountain and on or near the crest of the 
Phillips anticline. ' 



—30— 

SECTION OF WELL. 

0- 97 feet . .Green shale. 
97-175 feet . .Brown shale and gumbo. 
175-275 feet . . Gray sand rock with streaks of bluish shale. Sand 

streaks carry a little gas and a showing of oil. 
275-285 feet .. Chalky formation. 
285-380 feet . . Gray sand rock with streaks of bluish shale. Sand 

carries a little gas and a showing of oil. 
380-665 feet . . Benton shale. Gas at 665 feet. 
Water at 200 and 30Q feet. 

13. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. % Sec. 
8, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. 

0- 10 feet Water formation. 

10- 80 feet Brown lime. 

80-120 feet Gray shale. 

120-190 feet Blue shale. 

190-212 feet ! . . . Blue gumbo. 

212-262 feet •. Brown and green gumbo. 

262-275 feet Crystal formation. 

275-285 feet Blue gumbo. 

285-310 feet Pink and brown formation. 

310-332 feet Mixed shale. 

332-520 feet Benton shale. 

520-528 feet Water sand. 

528-52Si feet Hard shell rock strong with gas. 

529-547 feet Black sand. 

547-646 feet Benton shale. 

646-651 feet ParaflBn. 

651-718 feet 

718-725 feet Oil sand. 

725-739 feet 

739-740 feet Hard sand rock cap. 

740-748 feet Benton shale. 

748-810 feet Black gumbo. 

Water at 36, 217, 524, 560 and 665 feet. 

22. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. 34 Sec. 
8^^ T. 32 N. R. 73 W. This well, which is the most pro- 
ductive oil well yet drilled in the field, produces when 
pumped about 20 barrels of oil per day, the total production 
to date being 2,000 barrels. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 22. 

0- 50 feet .... Clay. 

50- 80 feet ... .Blue rock. 

80-185 feet Clay. 

185-255 feet .... Green shale. 

255-300 feet Black shale. 

300-328 feet . . . .Black shale and paraffin. Struck oil at 325 feet. 
Water at 80 feet. 



—31— . 

23. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SE. J^ Sec. 
8 T. 32 N. R. 73 W. This well was drilled about 1,000 
feet east of well No. 22. A showing of gas is reported at 
312 feet. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 23. 

0- 10 feet Surface. 

10- 90 feet Gray shaJe. 

90-140 feet Gumbo. 

140-150 feet Gray shaJe. 

150-165 feet Brown gumbo. 

165-175 feet Blue shale. 

175-190 feet Gray shale. 

190-240 feet Light shale. 

240-245 feet Sand rock. 

245-266 feet Gumbo. 

266-295 feet Yellow shale. 

295-399 feet Black shale. 

399-401 feet Oil sand. ■ 

Water at 65, 145 and 355 feet. 

24. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. NE. J^ Sec. 
8, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. This well, which is the most north- 
erly of the wells drilled by the Wyoming Oil & Develop- 
ment Company, is located near the trough of the small 
syncline between the Douglas and Phillips anticlines. A 
showing of oil is reported at 768 feet. Artesian water at 
675 feet. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 24- 

0- 10 feet Light clay. 

10- 15 feet Granite. 

15- 60 feet Light shale. 

60-120 feet : 

120-153 feet Light clay. 

153-295 feet Clav and blue shale. 

295-310 feet Red rock. 

310-345 feet Yellow rock. 

345-675 feet Black shale. 

675-702 feet Black sand. 

702-705 feet Black shale and paraffin. 

705-714 feet Black shale. 

714-720 feet Black sand. 

720-831 feet Black shale and paraffin. 

831-872 feet Gray shale and paraffin. 



—32— 

872-891 foot Soft gray sand. 

891-900 foot Black and gray shale. 

900-910 foot Gray shale. 

910-925 foot Black shale and iron. 

925-930 foot Paraffin. 

Water at 60, 655, 675 and 930 feet. 

25. Wyoming Oil and Development Co. SW. }/i 
Sec. 9, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. Compare the record of this 
well with those of wells Nos. 32 and P3 which are distant 
250 and 200 feet, respectively. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 25. 

0- 65 foot Light clay. 

65- 70 foot 

70-323 foot Green shale. 

323-340 foot Sand and gumbo. 

340-365 foot Black shale. 

365-420 foot Black shale and paraffin. 

420-425 foot Oil sand. 

Water at 70 foot. 

32. Wyoming Oil & Development Co. SW. }/i Sec. 
9, T. 32 N. R. 73 W. Compare with wells Nos. 25 and 
P3, distant 250 feet and 300 feet, respectively. 

SECTION OF WYOMING OIL & DEVELOPMENT COMPANY'S 

WELL NO. 32. 

0- 50 foot Clay. 

50-280 foot Green shale. 

280-340 foot Black shale. 

340-386 feet Black shale and paraffin. 

386-388 foot Oil sand. 

Water at 50 feet. Oil rises to within 50 feet of the surface. 

PI. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. SE. 3^ Sec. 4, T. 32 N. 
R. 73 W. The Dakota sandstone was probably entered 
in this well at 1448 feet, the well continuing in that formation 
to the bottom. The well was abandoned on account of 
a crooked hole. If the hole were straightened and the 
well continued some 200 to 300 feet it would penetrate 
the Lower Cretaceous sandstones and add greatly to the 
knowledge of the underground conditions in this district. 



—33— 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL FIELDS, LTD. WELL NO. PI. 

0- 420 feet White and green shale. 

420- 473 feet Red rock. 

473- 501 feet Coarse sand. 

501- 504 feet Finer sand. 

504- 524 feet Harder and finer sand. 

524-1420 feet Black shale. 

1420-1427 feet ....! Sand. 

1427-1428 feet Black shale. 

1428-1448 feet Hard sand with white iron. 

1448-1490 feet Very hard sand. 

1490-1500 feet Verv hard sand. 

1500-1505 feet Softer sand. 

1505-1530 feet • Hard sand. 

1530-1565 feet Softer sand. 

1565-1595 feet Very hard sand. 

1595-1705 feet Black shale. . 

Water at 8, 498, 710, 815, 1420 and 1448 feet. 

Showings of gas are reported at 484 to 487 feet. Showings of oil at 
488 to 498 feet, at 501 to 504 feet, at 524 feet. 

P3. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. SW. 3^ Sec. 9, T. 32 
N. R. 73 W. Compare with wells Nos. 25 and 32 which 
are distant 200 feet and 300 feet respectively. Showing 
of oil is reported at 220 to 230 feet. 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL FIELDS LTD. WELL NO. P3. 

0-118 feet Made land and sedimentary formation. 

118-140 feet Red rock. 

140-160 feet Light shale. 

160-200 feet Black shale. 

200-220 feet Light shale. 

220-230 fett Sand. 

230-241 feet Fine white sand. 

241-245 feet Gray soft sand. 

245-252 feet Light gray soft sand. 

252-257 feet Light and red shales. 

257-267 feet Darker shale. 

267-285 feet Black shale. 

285-289 feet Sand with coarse pebbles. 

289-315 feet Fine white sand. 

315-330 feet Coarse w^hite sand. 

Water at 241 and 289 feet. 

P6. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. NE. M Sec. 11, T. 
32 N. R. 73 W. This well is located about 1000 feet west 
of the west escarpment of Table Mountain, on or near the 
crest of the Phillips anticline. Gas was struck at 480 and 
491 feet. The gas pressure as shown by the gage is 145 
pounds. 



—34— 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL HELDS LTD. WELL NO. P6. 

0-480 feet Shale. 

480-486 feet I 

486-491 feet Red rock. 

491-498 feet Gas sand. 

P7. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. NW. }4 Sec. 12, T. 32 
N. R. 73 W. This well is located about 1200 feet east of 
well No. P6. 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL FIELDS LTD. WELL NO. P7. 

0- 50 feet Surface dirt. • 

50- 54 feet Blue shale. 

54- 60 feet Gray and brown shale. 

60-120 feet Blue sand. 

120-145 feet Brown sandy shale. 

145-160 feet Clay. 

160-200 feet Green shale. 

200-210 feet Light gray shale. 

210-213 feet Sand. ! 

213-271 feet Light shale. i 

271-358 feet Rod rock mixed with green shale. | 

358-373 feet Green shale. \ 

373-388 feet Green and red shale. 

388-455 feet Green shale. 

455-475 feet Red rock. 

475-480 feet Gray shale. 

480-488 feet Red rock. 

488-491 feet Gray rock. 

491-493 feet Gas sand. 

Water at 60 feet. 

PIO. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. NE. )^ Sec. 9, T. 32 N. 
R. 73 W. Gas was struck at 375, 454 and 463 feet., 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL FIELDS LTD. WELL NO. PIO. 

0-375 feet Blue and green shale. 

375-380 feet 

380-412 feet Green and Hght blue shale. 

412-451 feet Red rock. 

451-454 feet Green shale. 

454-455 feet Sand with green shale. 

455-457 feet Soft green shale. 

457-460 feet Sand and shale. 

460-463 feet Fine white sand. 

463-466 feet Sand. Strong flow of gas. 

Water at 48 and 375 feet. 

Pll. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. NE. M Sec. 9, T. 
32 N. R. 73 W. This well is drilled 1000 feet east of well 



—35— 

No. PIO, in the northwest corner of See. 9. A strong 
flow of gas, which threw sand and pebbles 70 feet into the 
air, was struck at 468 feet. 

SECTION OF DOUGLAS OIL FIELDS LTD. WELL NO. Pll. 

0-308 feet Shale. 

308^310 feet Coarse white sand. 

310-408 feet Shale. 

408-432 feet Pale pink shale. 

432-458 feet * Red shale. Hole caved badly. 

458-468 feet Green shale and gray sand. 

468-470 feet Gas. 

Water at*12 and 22 feet. 

■ 

P13. Douglas Oil fields Ltd. NW. J^ Sec. 9, T. 32 
N. R. 73 W. This well is located about 500 feet north of 
well No. P3. Gas was struck at 326 feet. Small quantity 
of oil at 450 feet. 

SECTION OF WELL. 

0- 55 feet Clay. 

55- 60 feet Green shale and clay. 

60-318 feet Green shale. 

31&-326 feet Red rock. 

326-334 feet Gas sand. 

334-345 feet Yellow rock and light shale. 

345-363 feet Yellow rock. 

363-405 feet Black shale. 

405-450 feet Black shale and paraffin. 

450-455 feet Oil sand. 

455-468 feet Gray shale. 

468-475 feet Black shale. 

P14. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. SW. i^ Sec. 9, T. 
32 N. R. 73 W. This well is located 150 feet northwest 
of well No. P13. Gas was struck at 345 feet. Oil was 
struck at 435 feet. Oil rose to within 20 feet of the surface 

SECTION OF WELL. 

0- 60 feet Clay. 

60-327 feet Green shale. 

327-335 feet / . . . . Red rock and green shale. 

335-340 feet Yellow rock. 

340-345 feet Gas sand. 

345-350 feet Yellow rock. 

350-395 feet .- Black shale. 

395-435 feet Black shale and paraffin. 

435-440 feet Oil sand. 



—36— 

PSl. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. SE. J^ Sec. 4, T. 

32 N. R. 73 W. A large flow of gas and a small amount 

of oil were struck at 433 feet. Gas from this well is now 

being used for fuel and lighting at the Douglas Oil Fields 

camp. 

SECTION OF WELL. 

0-345 feet Shale. 

345-390 feet Soft green shale. 

390-427 feet Pink shale. 

427-430 feet Soft gray sand. 

430-433 feet Soft pink shale. 

433-435 feet : . . . Hard sand. 

P22. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. SE. 3^ Sec. 1, T. 
32 N. R. 74 W. This well was drilled on Cottonwood 
creek, about 1000 feet east of the oil seepage on Oil Spring 
creek. The location of this well, like wells P23, P24 and 
P35, was evidently determined by the oil seepage. The 
dip of the strata at this point is 42° and the well is located 
near the line of the oil spring fault. It is probable that 
the bottom of this well is in Benton shales. Showings of 
oil are reported from 238 to 250 feet and at 432 feet. 

SECTION OF WELL. 

0-11 feet Coarse gravel. 

11- 19 feet Gravel and clay. 

19-54 feet Sandy clay. 

54- 96 feet Red and light blue sandy clay. 

96-105 feet Gray sandy clay. 

105-119 feet Red and gray sandstone 

119-131 feet Reddish clay. 

131-180 feet Hard black shale. 

180-211 feet Black sandy shale with streaks of white shale. 

211-238 feet Blue shale with streaks of sand. 

238-246 feet Black sandy shale. 

246-250 feet Sand rock. 

250-432 feet Black shale. 

432-515 feet Sand rock. 

515-525 feet Dark blue shale. 

525-543 feet Blue shale with streaks of sand. 

543-551 feet Blue sandy shale. 

551-556 feet Blue shale with streaks of sand rock. 

556-559 feet Black shale. 

559-562 feet Soft sand. 

562-647 feet Brown shale. 

647-684 feet Black sandy shale. 



Wyoming State Geologist Bulletin 3, Series B — Plate V 



A. — Standard Riu in Douui 



B.— Dbilung Machine in Douglas Oil Field 



—37— 

P27. Douglas Oil Fields Ltd. NW. 34 Sec. 24, T. 
31 N. R. 71. W. Showing of oil at 770, 1057, 1070 and 
1112 feet. Gas at 317, 760 and 1057 feet. 

SECTION OF WELL. 

Q- 26 feet Loam and gravel. 

26- 294 feet Black and light shales. 

294- 300 feet Sand rock. 

300- 310 feet Shale. 

310- 317 feet Sand rock. 

317- 540 feet Shale. 

540- 547 feet Sand rock. 

547- 640 feet Shale. 

640- 645 feet Limestone. 

645- 745 feet Shale. 

745- 760 feet Hard shells and sand rock. 

760- 770 feet Sand rock. 

770- 802 feet Shale. 

802- 806 feet Sand rock. 

806- 817 feet Shale. 

817- 821 feet Soapstone. 

821- 860 feet Shale. 

860- 868 feet Gray sand rock. 

868-1002 feet Black shale. 

1002-1005 feet Soapstone. 

1005-1030 feet ' Shale. 

1030-1046 feet Dark gray sand rock. 

1046-1050 feet White sand rock. 

1050-1112 feet Sand rock. 

Water at 300, 317, 800 and 1050 feet. 



CHARACTER OF OIL, 



The oils thus far produced in this district are of two 
varieties, that obtained in the upper portion of the Benton 
formation being a heavy lubricating oil, while that produced 
from the lower Benton formation and Lower Cretaceous 
rocks is a rather high-grade illuminant. 

The upper Benton oil is black by reflected, and slightly 
green by transmitted light. An analysis of this oil is given 
below. Dr. F. Salathe analyst: 



38— 





Specific 
gravity 


Degrees 
Beaume 


•Flaflh 


Fire' 


Per cent, 
from crude 


Crude oil 


0.9715 
0.9459 
0.9121 
0.9390 
0.9749 
0.9957 


14.1 
18.0 
23.5 
19.1 
13.6 
10.4 


316 


345 


100.0 


Crude refined 


87.0 


Light lubricating .... 
Medium lubricating . . 
Heavy lubricating . . . 
K^sideue 


266 
305 
460 


312 
350 
505 


21.8 
28.2 
25.0 
25.0 











"The crude oil contains about nine per cent of water in an emulsified 
state. By distillation after complete elimination of the water the above 
lubricating oils were separated. They are of excellent quaUty." 

The oil obtained in the lower portion of the Benton 
formation is entirely different from the above as shown by 
the following analysis, furnished by Mr. C. H. McWhinnie: 

Specific gravity 36° to 41° Beaume 

Gasoline— 72° B 13 per cent. 

Kerosene — 42° B 40 per* cent. 

Lubricating oils 45 per cent. 

Residue 4 per cent. 

"The oil is of paraffin base and contains no sulphur." 

A sample of oil obtained by distilling several pounds 
of the oil-saturated Lower Cretaceous sandstone was anal- 
ysed by Slosson* with the following results: 





Boiling point 


Specific 
gravity 


Degrees 
Beaume 


Per cent. 


Crude oil 




.9120 
.8160 
.8450 
.8920 
.9100 
.9250 


22.1 
41.6 
35.7 
27.0 
23.8 
21.3 




Sample No. 1 

Sample No. 2 

Sample No. 3 

Sample No. 4 

Sample No. 5 

Sample No. 6 


Below 170° C. 
170°— 220° 
220°— 270° 
270°— 290° 
290°— 320° 
Residuum 


10.8 
14.5 
16.0 
13.3 
10.8 
34.6 § 









FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. 

It should be borne in mind that it is not possible to 

* Slosson, E. E. School of Mines, University of Wyoming; Petroleum 
Series No. 6. Laramie, Wyoming, July, 1903. 



—39— 

positively determine, by an inspection of the surface, the 
occurrence or non-occurrence of oil in any locality. Where 
a proven territory is nearby the records of the wells may 
be studied and some knowledge of the underground con- 
ditions gained, though even in such territory the records 
vary with the varying moods and vocabularies of the drill- 
ers. In the Douglas oil fields the records of the greater 
number of wells are of little value. Beds of "paraflSn" 
are reported, ranging in thickness from one to 152 feet, 
"black shale and paraffin" being the most common nota- 
tion. The records are further complicated with such 
terms as "wind rock", "dope" and "rock", while wells 
drilled side by side apparently have nothing in common. 
However, it is probable that, with the exception of well 
No. 4 drilled by the Wyoming Oil & Development Co., 
none of the wells have reached the oil-bearing Lower Cre- 
taceous sandstones. The oil thus far obtained is thought 
to have seeped along fault planes until its further progress 
was stopped by beds of shale and clay, which, being more 
elastic than the older sandstones, did not yield readily 
to the forces producing faulting and have sealed the fissures. 
This hypothesis is to some extent borne out by the fact 
that in the greater number of cases oil is reported imme- 
diately below beds of "paraffin", "gumbo" or "dope". 
However, it is not yet definitely known whether the oil 
reservoir lies in the Lower Cretaceous beds or in the sands 
in the lower portion of the Benton formation. 

In view of the contradictorv records of the different 
wells and the slight knowledge of underground structural 
conditions which can be obtained • from them, and until 
wells are drilled which have penetrated the Lower Creta- 
ceous strata, the best that can be done is to point out in 



— 10— 

a general way that portion of the region which seems to 
give the greatest promise for future development. 

BRENNING FIELD. 

The wells in w^hich gas has been obtained in this field 
are located at or near the crest of the Phillips anticline. 
It is thought that oil would be obtained in wells drilled 
in the northern half of the first tier of sections in township 
32, at depths ranging from 1500 to 2000 feet. Further 
north it is not improbable that oil may be obtained, though 
at increasing depths. It should be borne in mind that 
the oil sand of the Salt Creek field, which lies near the top 
of the Benton formation, will probably be encountered in 
wells drilled between the northern boundary of township 
32 and the Laramie hills, and oil may be obtained from it. 
Well No. Pi, owned by the Douglas Oil Fields Ltd., should 
be continued to some 300 feet greater depth. The results 
obtained in this well would add greatly to the knowledge 
of underground conditions, and deductions might then be 
drawn as to the probable value of lands lying further north. 

The existence of oil seepages, the small amounts of 
oil obtained in some of the wells, and the geological con- 
ditions are promising. The accumulation of gas along 
an east- west line about \}/2 miles north of the outcrop of 
Dakota sandstone indicates the presence of the Phillips 
anticline in this field. It is thought that in the district 
between the Dakota outcrop and the gas wells the structure 
is not favorable to the occurrence of large reservoirs of oil. 

LA BONTE FIELD. 

But little work has been carried on in the La Bonte 
field, and that of a desultory character. Showings of oil 
and gas are reported in wells drilled in Sections 1 and 2, 



'»'-! '.J. 



I . » 



/ • f- 



f . .. 



t « 



v« 



^ I 



A: 



\ 



\ 



i V 



\ ■ .•• I '•; . . , . 



• » 



T. 30 N., R. 73 W., and Section 35, T. 31 N., R. 73 W. 
However, such showings were probably obtained from strata 
in the Benton formation, as the Lower Cretaceous rocks 
would here be encountered only at depths of 3,000 feet or 
more. It is not improbable that oil may be obtained by 
drilling south of the Poison Lake dome, within one-half 
mile of the Dakota outcrop, but drilling should not be re- 
sumed in this field until the existence or non-existence 
of oil in paying quantity is proven in the Brenning field 
by further drilling. 

Several wells have been drilled in the Red Beds near 
the Platte river. Such wells can obtain oil only from the 
Embar formation, which is the source of the fuel oil produced 
in the Dallas field, Fremont county. The Embar beds 
were closely examined near Cottonwood creek but no evi- 
dence of oil was noted.* 



* Recently, June 1912, the region south of Glenrock, some 12 miles east 
of the Brenning field, was visited and the location of the oil seepage on Box 
Elder Creek determined. The oil was found to be escaping from sandstones 
in the Embar Formation, the location of the seepage being in the bed of Box 
Elder Creek. The oil is dark brown in color, of asphaltum base, and is ap- 
parently similar to that produced in the Dallas field near Lander. In the 
light of this later discovenr it seems probable that oil may be obtained bj 
drilling into the Embar beds along the north flank of the Douglas anticline. 

4— 



The Muddy Creek Oil Field 

Carbon County, Wyoming 

By C. E. JAMISON 



INTRODUCTION 

In the valley of Muddy Creek, southwestern Carbon 
County, Wyoming, are outcrops of oil-saturated sandstone,. 

• 

which, although known for many years, have attracted 
but little attention. It is the purpose of this report to 
briefly describe the geological features of the district. 

. The Muddy Creek oil field lies in Muddy Basin, Town- 
ships 15, 16, 17, and 18 north; Ranges 92 and 93 west. 
Rawlins is distant 36 miles northeast, Wamsutter 24 miles 
northwest, and Creston 16 miles north, the last named 
place being the nearest railway point. The greater part 
of the field lies within the limits of the Union Pacific Land 
Grant, all odd-numbered sections within the grant being 
controlled by that company. 

The investigation on which this report is based was 
made in the spring of 1912, and extended over a period of 
eight days. Acknowledgments are due Mr. H. Larsen of 
Rawlins and Mr. B. C. Hoffhine of Cheyenne for informa- 

5— 



lion and assistance. L. M. Trask of Cheyenne acted as 
field assistant during the investigation. 

TOPOGRAPHY 

The field lies in the drainage basin of Muddy Creek, 
the surface features consisting of shallow valleys and low 
ridges, having a general north-south trend. On the east 
the field is fianked by the comparatively high ridges of 
the Fort Union and Laramie formations, while on the west 
it extends to the high plateau which forms the western 
limit of the Muddy Basin. West of the Muddy Basin is 
a broad, fiat plateau which extends to Wamsutter and be- 
yond the limits of the area under discussion. Elevations 
in the field range from 6,500 to 7,000 feet, as determined 
by aneroid, while the elevation at Wamsutter is 6,702 feet. 

GEOLOGY 

STRUCTURE. 

Between the Rock Springs dome on the west and the 
Sierra Madre uplift on the east is the Wamsutter syncline, 
the upper portion of the eastern limb being occupied by 
the Muddy Creek oil field. The structure in the oil field 
is extremely simple, the beds dipping regularly to the west. 
The dip of the Fort Union and older formations ranges 
from 12° to 15°, while that of the overlying Wasatch beds 
varies from 3° to 10°. No faults whatever were noted 
in the district. 

STRATIGRAPHY. 

In the following table the formations exhibited in 
this district are listed, together with a generalized state- 
ment as to their character, thickness, etc. : 



II si 

o.gas 



si; 






fit 



;3» 



—46— 

MESAVERDE FORMATION. 

The upper portion of this formation is composed of 
gray and brown shales and thin-bedded sandstones, with 
several beds of massive sandstone near the top. The 
lower portion of the formation was not examined. The 
formation is believed to be coal bearing. 

LEWIS SHALE. 

The Lewis shale is composed, in the greater part, of 
jsoft, gray to black, sandy shales, with a number of beds 
of shaly sandstone near the top of the formation. The 
^hale weathers more rapidly than the Mesaverde and Lara- 
mie formations and produces a series of valleys between 
the highlands of those formations. 

LARAMIE FORMATION. 

Overlying the Lewis shale is a series of gray, buflF, and 
brown sandstones, and gray, brown, and black shales of 
Laramie age. In the upper portion of the formation are 
jseveral beds of massive sandstone, some of which are con- 
<;retionary, but as a rule the sandstones are thin-bedded. 
At the base of the formation is a bed of massive, gray to 
buff sandstone which forms a prominent hogback. The 
formation is believed to be coal bearing throughout. 

FORT UNION FORMATION. 

At the base of the Fort Union formation is a bed of 
very massive, cross-bedded sandstone, at some points con- 
glomeratic. Overlying the basal sandstone are buff and 
brown sandstones and gray and brown shales, with several 
coal beds. Overlying this member is a non coal-bearing 
member, consisting principally of sandy clay, with a few 



beds of soft, slabby sandstone. The formation is not 
•exposed in its entire thickness, being concealed in part 
by the overlying Wasatch beds. 

WASATCH FORMATION. 

In the region under consideration the Wasatch is sep- 
arated from the Fort Union formation by a pronounced 
unconformity, and rests on the middle member of that 
formation. In the vicinity of the oil field the upper mem- 
ber of the Fort Union is concealed by the overlap, though 
the beds which form its upper part are exposed some 15 
miles north. At the base of th^ Wasatch formation are 
beds of sandy clay, overlain by a massive, coarse-grained 
sandstone, which was thoroughly saturated with oil at all 
points where its outcrop was found. This sandstone 
contains, locally, lenses of conglomerate of two varieties; 
one of which is made up of pebbles of fine-grained, gray, 
shaly sandstone, the pebbles ranging up to six inches in 
their longest diameter. The other conglomerate is finer 
grained, and is composed of pebbles of chert and grains 
of quartz, the largest of which are not more than one-half 
inch in diameter. Above the basal sandstone the formation 
consists chiefly of sandy clay, with a few beds of shale and 
soft massive sandstone. The clays are red, white, green, 
and maroon in color, while the sandstones are gray and 
brown. The Wasatch formation extends from Muddy 
Creek westward beyond the western limits of the area 
under discussion. 

OIL 

The presence of oil in the Muddy Creek field is indicated 
by the presence of oil-saturated sandstone which outcrops 



at many points, notably in sections 3, 10, and 15, Township 

17 north. Range 92 west, and in section 34, Township 

18 north. Range 92 west. At Cedar Butte, in the northwest . 
quarter of section 10, Township 17 north. Range 92 west, 
the oil sand is exposed in its entire thickness — ^28 feet — 
while at other points only the lower portion of the oil sand- 
stone is exposed. So thoroughly saturated with oil is 
the lower portion of this sandstone that it was used as fuel 
by the writer during the course of the exanunation. 

Development in the field is confined to the well driUed 
by the Larsen Oil Company on section 10. This well was 
located east of the outcrop of oil-bearing sandstone, the 
stratum dipping west, and there was, therefore, no possibil- 
ity of obtaining oil from the known oil-bearing stratum. 

On Cow Creek, in section 27, Township 16, Range 91, 
gas is escaping in the bed of the stream, and in several 
springs* which occur near the base of the Lewis shale. A 
rather large spring, 25 feet or more in diameter, situated 
in the north half of the section, is kept in a state of constant 
ebullition by the escape of gas. The presence of gas along 
Cow Creek led to the drilling of a well, some two or three 
years ago, near the junction of Cow and Deep creeks. The 
well was measured by the writer and the bottom reached 
at 75 feet, though it is probably that it had caved and 
filled to some extent. A small amount of water is now 
flowing from the well, while suflScient gas is escaping to 
burn with a flame ten inches in length. The gas is odorless 
and colorless and burns with a yellow flame. It is believed 
by the writer to be marsh gas, and is not thought to indicate 
in any way the presence of either oil or gas in commercial 
quantities. 

The following analyses of the oil from the Muddy 



—49— 

Creek field were furnished by Mr. H. Larsen of Rawlins, 
who obtained a small quantity of oil by distillation of the 
saturated sandstone: 

Von Schultz & Low, Denver, Analysts 

DISTILLATION OF OIL . 



Below 150 degrees C. 
150 to 200 degrees C. 
200 to 250 degrees C. 
250 to 300 degrees C. 
Above 300 degrees C. 
Residue 



. 0.00 per cent. Benzine, naphtha, gasoline 

. 4.60 per cent. Kerosene 

.18.60 per cent. High-^rade kerosene 

.53.50 per cent. HeadUght oil 

.11 .70 per cent. High-grade lubricating oil. 
11 .60 per cent. Coke 



Percentage of oil in rock, 9.70. 

The above analysis apparently shows entirely too 
large percentages of illuminating oils. 

Analysis of Oil by N. F. Harbiman, Chemist and Engineer of Tests, U. P. R. R. 

Omaha 

Percentage of oil in rock, 8.41 

Distills between 420 degrees F. and 700 degrees F. 

Oil is of asphaltum base. 

FUTURE DEVELOPMENT. 

In the future development should be confined to that 
portion of the district which lies west of the oil sandstone 
outcrop. The first wells should be drilled on sections 4, 
5, 8, or 17, Township 17 north, Range 92 west, where the 
oil-bearing sandstone can be reached at depths ranging 
from 600 to 1,000 feet. In no case should the non-success 
of a single well be considered as conclusive evidence, as 
there are few oil fields where there are not dry holes, even 
near productive wells. It is not probable that flowing 
wells will be obtained in this field, but the conditions are 
such that highly productive pumping wells may be brought 
in at depths ranging from 600 to 2,500 feet. 



—50— 
WATER SUPPLY 

The streams that traverse this region are intermittent^ 
but water sufficient for drilling purposes may be obtained 
from shallow wells sunk in the alluvium of the valleys. 
The water of Muddy Creek carries a large amount of solid 
matter in suspension, and is alkaline, but it was used in 
the boiler operated by the Larsen Oil Company with na 
bad results. For domestic purposes it requires settling,, 
or, preferably, filtration. 

COAL 

Coal beds are numerous in the Laramie and Fort 
Union formations, the workable beds ranging in thickness 
from three feet to fifteen feet. Near old Washakie stage 
station, in section 8, Township 17 north. Range 91 west, 
is an opening made in 1870 by the Overland Stage Com- 
pany. This opening was cleaned and retimbered by the 
Larsen Oil Company, and the coal used under the company's 
boilers. The vein was found to be nine feet in thickness^ 
and the coal of good quality. In section 3, Township 
16 north. Range 92 west, is the Corlett opening, about 
35 feet in depth. Aside from these openings coal, sufficient 
for drilling operations can be obtained at many points, 
in the district at but slight expense. 



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