Development of the Classic Indiana Trenton Field: Exploration and Development Patterns Depicted in Historic and Recent Maps, and a Review of Recent TBR Exploration
The Trenton Field of Indiana is the western portion of the “Lima-Indiana Field”, the world’s first giant oil field. While discovered later than more eastern production, the Trenton and Black River oil and gas fields of Indiana and Ohio were the birthplace of the modern American oil and gas company, including two of the Standard Oil companies. Indiana production began in 1886, and as production matured in these fields in the early 1900’s, coupled with crude purchasing practices of the Rockefeller companies, the industry migrated to other petroleum areas, with the Indiana field being largely shut down by 1920. Reoccurring interest in the Trenton and Black River has refocused attention on these classic areas. One of the keys for continued exploration is understanding what happened 100-125 years ago. The recognition of separate and distinct play areas, and the use of seismic and aero-magnetics has led to the identification of higher quality prospects. The oil reservoirs are related to both regional connate fluid migration, and localized hydrothermal fluid dolomitization, often with structural influences from local faulting and underlying Knox highs, with the gas areas often having less dolomite, but with apparent fractured limestone porosity. The development and exploration patterns of the Indiana Trenton Field from the 1880’s through 2019 are depicted in a series of historic and modern maps covering a large portion of northern and eastern Indiana. The Indiana Geologic and Water Survey added about 8000 well locations in recent years derived from a reassessment of historic lease maps, along with verifying many well locations. These maps show time slices of the location of wells, and abandoned pipelines, gas pumping stations, and field boundaries. Various other maps also show individual production areas within or near the main field, and modern pipeline and gas storage development. By examining historical maps, old reports and “completion reports’ of the Ohio Oil Company , the development patterns, geology, relative reservoir quality and production can be discerned, leading to a better understanding of a complex oil and gas reservoir. Recent exploration for both Trenton and Black River production has been more successful.
AAPG Datapages/Search and Discovery Article #90373 © 2019 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Energy from the Heartland, Columbus, Ohio, October 12-16, 2019