Ohio Oil Fields

This region is notable for having oil wells producing out of the Cow Run and Berea formations. Oil wells are in place at a variety of depths depending on their targeted formations.

A tremendous amount of recent activity in this area has been focused on the Ohio and Utica Shale formations. Although it should be noted that analysts and developers are increasingly calling the Utica a predominantly gas and gas liquids  play.

Cumulative Permits for Ohio Utica Shale, 2011

Cumulative Permits for Ohio Utica Shale, 2011

One interesting feature of Ohio’s oil production is that it is almost entirely derived from so-called stripper wells producing less than 10 barrels per day. Its refineries make up the difference in oil demand by importing raw crude oil from the Gulf Coast and Illinois.

Oil and gas wells for sale have been drilled through the following formations:

  • Cow Run
  • Berea Oil Formation
  • Cow Run
  • Pittsburgh
  • Ames Limestone
  • Cambridge
  • Mahoning Sandstone
  • Ohio Shale
  • Big Lime
  • Little Lime
  • Clinton Sand
  • Medina Red Rock
  • Utica Shale

- The Cow Run oil formation is located in Pennsylvania and southeastern Ohio, and is one of the oldest oil-producing regions of the United States. One of the shallowest oil-bearing formations known, it has not been a big producer due to a very long and gradual decline throughout the recent decades.

- Berea Oil Sands have been sought after by early oil men and have recently been sought after by individuals interested in performing secondary and tertiary recovery to extract what was previously unextractable oil. Depending on reservoir characteristics, secondary recovery, such as water flooding, could possibly yield fair results, but is still considered risky. Oil and gas professionals have also looked at the Pittsburg, Ames, Cambridge, and Cow Run formations for oil and natural gas as these formations are considered shallow.

The porosity and permeability conditions of  much of the Berea’s sands change within relatively short distances. Changes from loose, to coarse, to tightly cemented hard rock impenetrable to the movement of fluids, such as oil and water, have been often experienced and recorded.  Lower Berera beds in the Appalachian area are often completely saturated with rock, as opposed to the upper sands. The lowest sands are almost entirely dry and show very little to no signs of saltwater that would potentially indicate hydrocarbons.

The structure of these sands is also of great importance when considering hydrocarbon extraction. Small quantities of oil and gas are often in a dry, porous rock, and these fluids will move through the formation if the flow is sufficient to overcome friction and capillary action. In areas that are already saturated with water and trace amounts of oil, and when there is not sufficient dip in the formation, chemicals may need to be added, but this depends on the wettability of the pores.

If one is trying to evaluate an area for the Berea‘s potential, one should keep in mind that the primary focus of likely crude oil accumulation is areas thought to be dry and porous. These areas are often found at or near the bottom of the synclines. However, it seems to be at the lowest points of the porous medium where the slope of the rock may not be sufficient to overcome friction associated with capillary action, which may very well decrease the chances of a successful secondary recovery.

On the other hand, if a zone is deemed to be both porous and partly filled with water and oil, the top limit of the saturated area should be completed as the oil accumulates on top of the water.  In situations like this, water coning will most likely be an issue during any extraction operations.

- With the Pittsburgh Limestone, a sub-zone of the larger Pittsburgh Group, there is typically a foot of fire clay or shale under a coal layer, with the limestone below. However, it has been recorded in several areas that the limestone is next to the coal layer, with the fire clay below the limestone.

- The Ames Limestone is a bed of hard, green limestone, between 1 – 3 feet think that often contains crinoid stems and brachiopod fossils. These fossils seem to be the most abundant in the upper portion of the bed.

- The Cambridge Limestone in this area is dark-gray to a light yellow in color. It often contains many brachiopods and crinoid stem fossils.

- The Mahoning Sandstone is normally a coarse, buff, massive rock commonly found in the northwest corner of Ohio. Underneath this sandstone is the Upper Freeport coal.

- The Ohio Shale is composed of the Cleveland Shale, Chagrin Formation, and the Huron Shale of the Devonian System. They are identified by their black and brown carbonaceous shales and many ironstone-like accumulations. This formation has been classified as containing some oil and gas potential, but with modern techniques, such as fracking, the reservoir potential may increase.

- The Big Lime is a brown, gray and bluish limestone with few sandstone and shale characteristics. Denser characteristics, such as the formation of tight lime or shale, more commonly appear in the lower half of the formation. A large salt bed is often found a few hundred feet below the upper limit of the Delaware Limestone. The thickness of this formation often increases towards the east side of the state of Ohio. The Big Lime formation is part of the Delaware Limestone, Columbus Limestone, Monroe, Salina form, Niagara form of the Unconformity System in Ohio.

- Little Lime and Clinton Sand formations are closely related to one another in lithology. The Little Lime is composed of gray and red sandstone, with dark shale components.  The Clinton Sand formation is also gray or red sandstone, and has been known to have important crude oil and natural gas characteristics. The Little Lime and Clinton Sand formations are part of the Clinton Formation of the Silurian System in Ohio.

- Medina Red Rock formation, like the previous formations, is mostly composed of dense red shale or clay. The Medina Red Rock formation is part of the Medina Shale of the Silurian System in Ohio.

- As mentioned earlier in this article, the Utica Shale is one of Ohio’s most popular formations at this time. The Utica and Lorrain formations are thought to be the source rock of the Appalachian basin. In fact, the Utica Shale has been described by many professionals as complex and confusing. In some parts of Ohio, the formation seems to be fairly uniform, but, in others, professionals classify it as being composed of three faunal divisions, with the lower two being associated with the Cobourg Age and the uppermost being more closely related to the Deer River and Atwater Creek shale deposits of northwestern New York.

* 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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