Guess Where; 1978
Bay Marchand in Louisiana? The Caspian Sea? The Kenai in Alaska?
Baffin Bay, S. Texas? How about the Isle of Wright in Southern England?
Actually this is Amoco drilling exploratory wells in the great Salt Lake of Utah. It drilled a total of 15 wells from 1978 t0 1980 using a self contained Parker Drilling rig that was outfitted on a barge, complete with legs. These wells are all located in two, Neogene aged basins in the lake itself, both containing faulted anticline structures defined by two dimensional seismic.
The 2nd well drilled in the lake in the North Basin, near Rozel Point, found oil in a Pliocene basalt sector at 2,200 feet. The well made 4 degree API oil, rather bitumen, on gas lift. Two confirmation wells on the same structure, called West Rozel Field, found low gravity oil in the same basalt section, one made 90 BOPH on a hydraulic lift system. The oil had a 15% sulfur content and a pour point of 75F. It was as thick as syrup, even at BHT of 140F with a viscosity of 3000 c.p.
West Rozel was determined to not be commercial given the offshore nature of the find and because of its low gravity and sulfur content. The wells were plugged and abandoned. Eight other wells drilled around the lake by Amoco had oil and gas shows, none proved commercial and by 1981 Amoco was done.
Somebody, somewhere, still has all the poop on this stuff; West Rozel has several hundred million barrels of OOIP. Somebody will be able to heat it up somehow and get it out, someday.