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Controls on petroleum resources for the Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin Province, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York

October 1, 2019

Greater than 33 trillion cubic feet of gas, 68 million barrels of natural gas liquids (NGL), and 192 million barrels of water have been produced from the Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale of the Hamilton Group in the Appalachian Basin. These volumes are from more than 11,700 non-commingled wells. Areas of greatest production and future potential for gas and NGL from the Marcellus Shale are within and near the northeast-trending Rome trough in northern West Virginia and Pennsylvania. Southernmost New York, eastern Ohio, western Virginia, and Maryland also contain petroleum potential and (or) reserves. A confluence of factors enhances gas and NGL reserves and resources in the Marcellus Shale. These include (1) brittleness based on lithofacies composition; (2) thickness and distribution of brittle and organic-rich shale; (3) measured thermal maturity of 1% vitrinite reflectance and greater; (4) at least 2 weight percent total organic carbon; (5) dense and complex fracturing and faulting; (6) presence of evaporite beds in the underlying Silurian Salina Group; (7) potential overpressure; (8) current depths of 1,370 m (4,500 ft) and greater; and (9) predominately horizontal wells with laterals that are oriented to the northwest or southeast, or roughly perpendicular to the direction of maximum horizontal stress, and that cross major fault and fracture sets.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2019
Title Controls on petroleum resources for the Devonian Marcellus Shale in the Appalachian Basin Province, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New York
DOI 10.31582/rmag.mg.56.4.323
Authors D.K. Higley, Catherine B. Enomoto, Heidi M. Leathers-Miller
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Mountain Geologist
Series Number
Index ID 70207372
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Central Energy Resources Science Center