The Utah Geological Survey has received a huge financial boost for its efforts to study existing oil reservoirs in Uinta Basin.

A federal grant of $842,000 was announced by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Petroleum Technology Office as part of continuing research being conducted in its Fundamental Geoscience for Reservoir Characterization Program.

"This grant will help the survey out directly in that we will be able to do the field work, which has high expenses associated, and to participate in technology transfer programs, such as giving talks to national geological groups," said Craig Morgan, project manager and senior geologist with the UGS.

Morgan said part of the grant will also help fund a graduate student from the University of Utah.

The study will be a three-year investigation of the subsurface and surface geology of the lower Green River Formation in the Monument Butte and Roan Cliff areas of the southwest Uinta Basin. The study should help increase the knowledge of the Green River oil reservoir and help locate areas for fur-ther development.

"We hope our findings will encourage more drilling in the area," Morgan said.

In a letter announcing the grant, Patricia Godley, assistant secretary for fossil energy, said, "As domestic crude oil becomes harder to produce, the likelihood that the nation will have to rely more on foreign imports increases.

`The Office of Fossil Energy's research and development program includes a major effort to help U.S. producers develop advanced technologies that can slow, or perhaps reverse, the decline in domestic oil production. The selection of the Utah Geological Survey is a key step in that process," Godley wrote.

A similar project recently completed in the Monument Butte area "increased production dramatically," she said.