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Geologic Overview and Activity Update for the Utica-Point Pleasant Shale Play in Ohio

Christopher J. Perry, Lawrence H. Wickstrom, Ronald A. Riley, and Matthew S. Erenpreiss
Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Geological Survey, Columbus, OH
[email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected]

Activity associated with the Ordovician Utica Shale-Point Pleasant Formation play continues to ramp up, and Ohio continues to be the primary focus of activity within this continuous reservoir system. This focus is mostly due to the drilling depths and the presence of natural gas liquids and oil within Ohio. The first horizontal exploration wells were drilled and completed in the Utica-Point Pleasant interval in early 2011. By the end of 2011, over 150 horizontal permits had been issued and 30 wells drilled. Projections for 2012 indicate that approximately 200 additional wells may be drilled. It still is very early within this play and much remains to be defined.

Within Ohio, the Point Pleasant Formation lies directly above the Trenton Limestone and is, at least in part, equivalent with the thick deposits of the Trenton carbonate platform of northwestern Ohio, famous for the Lima-Indiana oil-and-gas trend, which was the first true giant field produced in North America starting in 1884. As the carbonate platform deposits of the Trenton thin, the interbedded, organic-rich carbonates and shales of the Point Pleasant thicken. The northwestern-Ohio Trenton carbonate platform represents a distal bulge of the ensuing Taconic Orogeny. As the orogenic activity and subsidence increased, the organic-rich Utica Shale proper transgressed the area from present-day east-southeast to west-northwest, eventually overwhelming and drowning the carbonate environments. Thus in the deeper portions of the present-day basin, the Utica (and Antes) is, in part, laterally equivalent and overlies the Point Pleasant.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90154©2012 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Cleveland, Ohio, 22-26 September 2012