Kentucky Oil and Gas Wells

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This regions has wells that are 750-900 feet deep and go through the Big Lime, Berea, Devonian Shale and Corniferous commercial crude oil payzones. The mountainous environment makes it extremely difficult to work in many of these fields.

While a relatively minor player in the United States oil industry, Kentucky is home to a surprising number of opportunities for lucrative oil and gas exploration. The state ranked 23rd in January 2013 in crude oil production, at 226,000 barrels of oil.

Its two operating refineries are fed by domestic and regional crude oil production along with oil supplied via pipeline from the Gulf Coast.

The hydrocarbon geology is generally described by first dividing the state into major regions: The eastern part of the state associated with the greater Appalachian Basin, and the western part of the state associated with the Illinois Basin.

Potentially viable formations for the production of oil and gas include (but are not limited to):

  • Newman Limestone (Big Lime)

  • Berea Sandstone (Grit)

  • Ohio Shale (formerly Devonian Shale)

  • Corniferous Limestone

  • Chattanooga / New Albany Shale  (Central KY)

- The Big Lime is the so-called “driller’s name” for what is properly called the Newman Limestone. Part of the Mississippian System of the Paleozoic era, it is characterized as containing 20-30 percent very fine-to-fine-grained quartz sand. Porosity and permeability conditions in the formation can be economical, but other times require hydraulic fracturing to improve.

- The Berea Sandstone is a fine-to-medium grained sandstone found as a part of the Mississippian System of the Paleozoic era.

- The Ohio Shale, part of the Devonian Shale System of the Paleozoic era, is perhaps one of the most highly publicized formations in this region as it has been getting renewed attention as an unconventional gas play. Such structures have only recently been made viable with the development and improvement of modern hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques.

- The Corniferous Limestone is a colloquial label used by drillers to refer to a number of consecutive structures in the lower Devonian and upper Silurian Systems of the Paleozoic era and in the Appalachian Basin (East KY). Included in this structure are Lockport Dolomite and the Salina Dolomite. The limestone is of a particularly thick, gray variety. The Corniferous Limestart starts in the Devonian System and extends into the Silurian System, both of the Paleozoic era.

- The Chattanooga Shale and New Albany Shale formations are also gathering attention as a possible unconventional natural gas resource in central Kentucky. The New Albany is said to be Late Devonian and has a fossil record that includes tasmanites, conodonts and radiolaria, and carbonized and silicified wood. It contains greenish-gray shale beds and is found with about 4-110 feet in thickness, with the average thickness between 20-40 feet. The Chattanooga Shale is said to be continuous with the New Albany, which is why the two are always discussed together. These are both predominantly gas-rich formations.

* The photos on this page do not represent any specific locations, projects, or company and are shown for visual purposes only. This is not a project for sale or a solicitation to purchase any oil wells for sale or natural gas wells for sale. This is not a presentation or offer to sell securities or to sell any other product whatsoever. This post is only for informational purposes to aid individuals who wish to develop oil and gas assets in this state.

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