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A Review of the Petroleum Systems of the Northern Appalachian Basin

Jackie Reed1, Stephen Brown2, and John Zumberge2

1Petroleum Systems Consultant, Hilton Head South Carolina, 29926

2GeoMark Research, Houston , Texas, 77095

Oil and sediment geochemical analysis have been undertaken to establish the various petroleum systems in the northern Appalachian Basin. Restored richness data for sediments from over 50 wells indicates clearly that Middle-Upper Devonian sediments are the primary source facies in the northern Appalachian Basin. This is clearly substantiated by oils that are associated with these Devonian sources. Black shale source facies of the Upper Ordovician (Utica and equivalents)are also represented in oil and sediment data. Middle Ordovician carbonates (Trenton-Black River) as a source are not pervasively apparent in the sediment richness data however, oils with the characteristic Ordovician, G. prisca associated chemistry indicate the importance of a Middle-Ordovician source. Organic rich Middle Cambrian shales have been measured in a well in Kentucky; however, oil data does not substantiate a Cambrian source.

Oil geochemical data show that both the Ordovician sources have contributed to accumulations in the Cambrian, Ordovician and Silurian. Several mixed oils show that the Devonian sources have also contributed to Silurian and Mississippian as well as Devonian accumulations.

Maturity data indicate that the source horizons over much of the study area are well beyond oil generation and are generating or have generated gas. Future studies are concentrating on sampling and correlating gases with their source horizons.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90059©2006 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Buffalo, New York