Organic geochemistry and petrology of Devonian shale in eastern Ohio: Implications for petroleum systems assessment

American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin
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Abstract

Recent production of light sweet oil has prompted reevaluation of Devonian petroleum systems in the central Appalachian Basin. Upper Devonian Ohio Shale (lower Huron Member) and Middle Devonian Marcellus Shale organic-rich source rocks from eastern Ohio and nearby areas were examined using organic petrography and geochemical analysis of solvent extracts to test ideas related to organic matter sources, oil–source rock correlation, thermal maturity, and distances of petroleum migration. The data from these analyses indicate organic matter in the Ohio and Marcellus Shales primarily was derived from marine algae and its degradation products, including bacterial biomass. Absence of odd-over-even n-alkane distributions (n-C13 to n-C21 range) in gas chromatograms and low gammacerane index values in Devonian source rocks are similar to those of Devonian-reservoired oils in eastern Ohio, suggesting an oil–source rock correlation. Lower Paleozoic oils from eastern Ohio, in contrast, are characterized by the presence of odd-over-even n-alkane distributions (n-C13 to n-C21 range) and higher gammacerane values, which discriminate them from Devonian shale-derived oils. Thermal maturity estimates from equilibrium(?) biomarker isomerization ratios suggest that some of the Devonian source rock samples are at middle to peak oil window conditions (i.e., approximate vitrinite reflectance values of 0.8%–0.9%). This observation requires local to short-distance (<50 mi) lateral migration for emplacement of Devonian-sourced oils into Devonian reservoirs of eastern Ohio and may impact exploration and assessment of petroleum resources in the Upper Devonian Berea Sandstone.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Organic geochemistry and petrology of Devonian shale in eastern Ohio: Implications for petroleum systems assessment
Series title American Association of Petroleum Geologists Bulletin
DOI 10.1306/08192019076
Volume 105
Issue 3
Year Published 2021
Language English
Publisher American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Contributing office(s) Eastern Energy Resources Science Center
Description 31 p.
First page 543
Last page 573
Country United States
State Ohio
Other Geospatial Eastern and central Ohio
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