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UW School of Energy Resources Seeks Proposals to Investigate the Mowry Shale

July 18, 2022

The University of Wyoming School of Energy Resources (SER) is seeking proposals from current UW faculty members to investigate the Mowry Shale in the Powder River Basin. Topics of interest for the proposals include fundamental studies of the formation including physics-based model and experimentation to advance the geomechanical and geochemical understanding of the Mowry Shale relative to production or performance, or Data driven approaches that aim to draw meaningful insights from large data sets which can inform meaningful decision making in real-time to improve Mowry wells.

The opportunity will fund projects up to 8 months in duration and with a maximum budget of $150,000.

The Mowry Shale is the largest hydrocarbon source for Lower Cretaceous petroleum systems in the Powder River Basin (PRB). In 2009 the USGS estimated that 116–307 million barrels of undiscovered oil and gas reserves lie in the Mowry Petroleum System in the PRB. However, the Mowry Petroleum System has only rarely been a direct focus of unconventional oil and gas exploration and production.

Wyoming produces more than 80 million barrels of crude oil and nearly 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. With a mission dedicated to energy-driven economic development for the state, SER aims to reduce uncertainty and increase productivity of the Mowry Petroleum System to help production for the state.

“The Mowry Shale is a prolific oil and gas source rock, but it is geochemically and geomechanically complex which has led to hydraulic fracture failures, low energy drives, and variable oil and water saturations,” says SER senior director of research, Scott Quillinan. “This funding will help improve the understanding of the Mowry Shale to improve overall production and help to grow the unconventional oil and gas research being conducted at the University of Wyoming.”

Interested faculty members are invited to submit proposals via email -- as well as any questions -- directly to Quillinan at with the subject “Mowry Shale Proposal.”

For more details on the request, as well as directions for submission, download the full RFP here. The deadline for proposal submissions is August 1. The selected projects will be notified by Aug. 15.


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