This report summarizes our general knowledge of the geology and petroleum potential, as well as potential problems and hazards associated with development of petroleum resources, within the area proposed for nominations for lease sale number 90. This area includes the U.S. eastern continental margin from Raleigh Bay, just south of Cape Hatteras, to southern Florida, including the upper Continental Slope and inner Blake Plateau. The area for possible sales for lease sale number 90, as well as the area for lease sale number 78 and the previous areas leased are shown in figure 1; physiographic features of the region are shown in figure 2.
Six exploration wells have been drilled within the proposed lease area (figs. 3 and 4), but no commercial discoveries have been made. All six wells were drilled on the Continental Shelf. No commercial production has been obtained onshore in the region. The areas already drilled have thin sedimentary rock sections, and the deeper strata are dominantly of continental facies. Petroleum formation may have been hindered by a lack of organic material and lack of sufficient burial for thermal maturation. However, analyses of drilling and seismic profiling data presented here indicate that a much thicker section of sedimentary rocks containing a much higher proportion of marine deposits, exists seaward of the Continental Shelf. These geologic conditions imply that the basins farther offshore may be more favorable environments for generating petroleum.
Geology report for proposed oil and gas lease sale No. 90; continental margin off the southeastern United States