Abstract by Peter Van Katwyk
Peter Van Katwyk
Geochemical source rock characterization of the Mowry Shale in the Wind River and Hannah Basins, Wyoming
The Cretaceous Mowry shale is considered a source rock for conventional petroleum systems associated with the Cretaceous Interior Seaway, and is currently an unconventional target in the Powder River Basin in NE Wyoming. The Mowry is present in several other basins in Wyoming, such as the Wind River and Hannah basins to the west and south. Geochemical characterization of 300+ samples of the Mowry Shale was performed to better understand the unconventional potential and organofacies distribution of the Mowry shale. XRD analysis and XRF analysis provided elemental abundances, and pyrolysis yielded information on organics. The data shows there are sometimes high proportions of detrital silica, suggesting significant fluvial input to the basin. Pyrolysis and XRF data show spatial variability in redox conditions as well, with overall decreasing oxygen availability to the NW. Continuing geochemical characterization will help better understand sediment routing and oxygen circulation patterns within the basin, leading to a better understanding of the Cretaceous paleoconditions and better characterizing the Mowry Shale as a potential unconventional resource.