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The geochemistry of oils and gases from the Cumberland overthrust sheet in Virginia and Tennessee

April 2, 2015

This study presents high-resolution gas chromatograms of oils and molecular and isotopic analyses of oil-associated gases from 17 wells producing in the Upper Cambrian to Lower Ordovician Knox Group, the Middle and Upper Ordovician Stones River Group, and the Upper Ordovician Trenton Limestone in the Cumberland overthrust sheet. The wells are located in the Ben Hur and Rose Hill fields in Lee County, Va., and in the Swan Creek field in Hancock and Claiborne Counties, Tenn. They produce oils typical of those from source rocks that are rich in Gloeocapsomorpha prisca (G. prisca) (Assemblage A-type kerogen). The Rose Hill oils appear to come from a source that contains a higher proportion of Assemblage A-type kerogen than the Ben Hur and Swan Creek oils. Extrapolation of the δ13C compositions of oil-associated gases to possible kerogen compositions gives estimates of -23 to -24 per mil within the range of isotopic compositions of known G. prisca source material. Gases produced from the Knox Group wells in the Swan Creek field are different from those in the Middle and Upper Ordovician reservoirs and come from a source with a broader range of isotopic values. Trends in isotopic and gasoline-range compositional parameters of the oils and associated gas isotopic and molecular compositions are most likely influenced by changes in local source depositional facies.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title The geochemistry of oils and gases from the Cumberland overthrust sheet in Virginia and Tennessee
DOI 10.3133/pp1708G.12
Authors Kristen O. Dennen, Mark Deering, Robert A. Burruss
Publication Type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Series Title Professional Paper
Series Number 1708
Index ID pp1708G.12
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Eastern Energy Resources Science Center