The Uinta Basin holds special fascination for economic geologists because of its rich and diverse assemblage of mineral and hydrocarbon resources. Due to their presence in rocks of the basin, much effort has been put into assessing and exploiting uranium, phosphate, gold, copper, coal, and evaporite minerals. However, the basin is probably best noted for its extensive and very rich accumulations of hydrocarbons such as, oil, gas, bituminous sandstones, oil shale (shale oil), and gilsonite and other solid and semi-solid hydrocarbon species. More importantly, several of these commodities have proven to be a major source of wealth and resources for both local communities and the nation. The Uinta Basin is now playing an additional very important role as a natural-Earth laboratory where industry, government, and academic scientists can study the origin and habitat of these commodities set in a variety of rock types. Also, scientists can test methods for exploitation in an economically successful and environmentally sound manner. In addition, the basin is a training site for petroleum geologists from many countries who visit its exposures and study its resources as part of many industry, professional society, and academic field trips. Infomation and experience gained from studies are being applied to exploration and exploitation locally, as well as in a wide variety of places around the world.
United States Department of the Interior, Indian Affairs Bureau, "Hydrocarbons and Mineral Resources of the Uinta Basin, Utah and Colorado" (1995). Mines and Mineral Resources. Paper 2.