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Abstract: Continuing Cambro-Ordovician Exploration in the Stephens Area, Elliott County, Kentucky


The Stephens Area in Elliott County, Kentucky has been the subject of exploration for oil and gas in Cambro-Ordovician sediments in the Rome Trough for almost thirty years. In 1970, the Monitor No. 1 Ison tested commercial flows of gas and condensate from the Ordovician St. Peter Sandstone and Cambrian Rome sands at 4,700 ft and 7,700 ft, respectively. Through the 1970s and 1980s six additional Cambro-Ordovician tests were drilled in the Stephens Area with numerous reports of shows and tests of hydrocarbons.

In the early 1990s, following review of well data and over 200 miles of previously acquired seismic, prospective features were delineated in the Stephens Area. Interpretation of 30 miles of new seismic led to the drilling in 1995 of the Blue Ridge No. 1 Greene to 9,047 ft. The well is two miles east of the No. 1 Ison and on the same geologic structure. Though the Cambro-Ordovician reservoirs in the No. 1 Greene were structurally low to the No. 1 Ison, significant shows were detected in the Cambrian Copper Ridge and Rome Formations. Well data indicates a fault in the Cambro-Ordovician section between the Ison and Greene wells.

The No. 1 Greene was tested in two sections of Middle Rome sands. The first test at 8,545 ft - 8,645 ft resulted in shows of condensate and gas. The test interval in the thickest sand, at 7,892 ft - 7,916 ft, resulted in significant oil shows which were soon overcome by water. Several sands with mud log shows remain untested. Exploration efforts currently are continuing in the Stephens Area.

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