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Jonah Field is a large natural gas field in the Green River Basin in Sublette Countymarker, Wyomingmarker, in the United Statesmarker. The field is approximately south of Pinedalemarker and north of Rock Springsmarker in southwestern Wyoming, and is estimated to contain 10.5 trillion cubic feet (297 billion cubic meter) of natural gas. Managed by the Bureau of Land Management, the field has a productive area of 21,000 acres (85 kmĀ²).

History

The presence of natural gas in and around Sublette County was known for years, but it was not deemed practical to extract. El Paso Natural Gas Company in the 1970s, in cooperation with Federal Government of the United States and the Atomic Energy Commission, proposed a project called Wagon Wheel Nuclear Stimulation Project, which was an attempt to detonate 5 small nuclear explosions to fracture the sands and enable natural-gas production. The project was abandoned and the Jonah Field and surrounding areas, including the Pinedale Anticline, were left undeveloped for years.

Jonah Field was discovered by geologist Ed Warner working with McMurry Oil. The field proved viable after the drilling of the McMurry Oil Company Jonah-Federal #1-5 in January, 1993 where McMurry placed their operations office.

Development

Jonah Field is known for being one of the largest on-shore natural gas discoveries in the USA in the early 1990s. The startling fact is that Jonah has a surface area of approximately one township yet it contains 10.5 trillion cubic feet (297 bcm) of gas. In comparison, the Hugoton Field covers most of the southwest portion of Kansas, a 14 county area, yet it contained only about three times the volume of gas in Jonah.

The principal technical challenge in Jonah is identification and stimulation of productive intervals in a to section of stacked lenticular fluvial sand/silt/shale sequences which comprise the Upper Mesaverde, Lance, and Unnamed Tertiary formations. Hydraulic fracturing is used to open (stimulate) the tight sand formations that exist more than a mile and a half underground, which allows gas to be recovered at economic rates.

The major gas companies currently developing the field are the EnCana Corporation and BP. Other active gas companies involved in the Jonah Field include Ultra Petroleum and Yates Petroleum.

Other large natural gas fields in and around Sublette County, Wyoming include the Pinedale Anticline, the Wamsuttermarker gas field and several sour gas H2S fields operated by ExxonMobil.

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