47th Annual AAPG-SPE Eastern Section Joint Meeting

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Cross-section framework for visualizing carbon capture utilization and storage potential in the Ohio-West Virginia-Pennsylvania portion of the Appalachian basin


The Midwest Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership (MRCSP), a consortium of ten states, funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through Battelle Memorial Institute, has been investigating and mapping the geology of various subsurface formations from the Michigan Basin to the Atlantic U.S. offshore for 15 years. Within the past five years, project team members have begun to generate regional geologic cross-sections that span multiple physiographic provinces across our study area. As this regional midwestern U.S. cross-section framework continues to march eastward to the sea, Pennsylvania has contributed to the effort by preparing two strategically placed cross-sections through a portion of the Appalachian basin. These cross-sections use available deep log control to identify reservoirs suitable for CO2 storage, organic shales that may benefit from enhanced hydrocarbon recovery, and confining layers which function as seals. Deepening basinward from west-to-east and north-to-south over the tri-state area of eastern Ohio, southwestern Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, the two sections incorporate gamma-ray with bulk density, neutron or density porosity log control to highlight geologic formations below 2500 feet depth suitable for miscible CO2 storage. These potential storage reservoirs include, in order of increasing age, the Oriskany Sandstone, Lockport Dolomite, “Clinton”/Medina Group, Rose Run Sandstone and Cambrian basal sands. Reservoir potential is greatest in the northern and western portions of the study area, where the basin is shallower, although thin-skinned tectonics toward the east and south enhances trapping and permeability in the Oriskany Sandstone. Confining intervals, which develop CO2 reservoir storage or enhanced hydrocarbon recovery locally, include the deltaic sands of the Venango and Greenland Gap groups as these intervals deepen basinward to the east and south; the Bass Islands Dolomite to the north; Tuscarora Sandstone where influenced by structure to the east and south; and Copper Ridge Dolomite toward the west. Potential to solution mine storage caverns in the Salina F4 Salt also exists locally. Several organic Upper Devonian shales, along with Middle Devonian Marcellus and Upper Ordovician Utica and Point Pleasant that exist throughout the cross-section study area are noted where they occur deeper than 2500 feet. To assist geologic evaluations, published data on basement faults, local cross-structural discontinuities and folding, which influence facies changes, reservoir quality and confining properties, have been incorporated, along with facies changes evidenced by log control and nomenclature variations from state stratigraphic columns.