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Abstract: Cambrian Hydrocarbon Potential in the Region of the Serpent Mound Disturbance of Southern Ohio


The Lower Ordovician-Cambrian Sauk Sequence in the region of the Serpent Mound disturbance of southern Ohio (Adams, Highland, and Pike Counties) consists of clastic and carbonate rocks beneath the Knox unconformity and above the Precambrian. The nearest significant hydrocarbon production is from the Cambrian Rose Run sandstone approximately 40 miles to the northeast in Pickaway County, Ohio. Minor hydrocarbon production and shows have been reported from the Cambrian Knox Dolomite and Conasauga, Eau Claire, and Rome Formations of southern Ohio and northern Kentucky. These intervals contain the least explored sequence of potential reservoirs in this region. The number of scattered shows reported from below the Knox unconformity in deep wells shows promise in a largely untested region. Accumulations of natural gas have occurred in both stratigraphic and structural traps. Recurrent movement on basement faults has resulted in stratigraphic variations in the Rose Run sandstone, Eau Claire and Rome Formations, and Mount Simon Sandstone. Movement along basement faults also resulted in local and regional structures. Seismic data and continuous core from the Serpent Mound disturbance indicate structural and stratigraphic anomalies, which may serve as hydrocarbon traps. As deep drilling continues on favorable seismic prospects, the additional geologic information gathered will allow the refinement of current depositional and structural models representative of the deeper intervals.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90939©1997 AAPG Eastern Section and TSOP, Lexington, Kentucky