U.S. Geological Survey Researchers Find Shale Gas in Massachusetts, Connecticut

Aug 7th, 2012 | By Mark | Category: Fracking, Lead Articles

NatGas Consulting

Researchers at the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S.) have released a report documenting and assessing substantial “undiscovered” natural gas and oil resources  that extend well up the East Coast of the United States, as far as western Massachusetts and central Connecticut.

“The geology indicates that many of the coal beds and shale basins may be sources for gas. There’s a potential here for source rocks and hydrocarbon resources,” Robert Milici, the lead research geologist for the U.S.G.S. for the report, told NaturalGasWatch.org.

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According to his bio, Milici has a Ph.D. from the University of Tennessee, and has worked in the area of fossil fuel resources, coal and oil and gas, since 1973. His projects include geologic mapping of the coal fields in Tennessee; supervising mine safety studies in the coalfields of Virginia; and conducting coal, oil and gas research projects for the USGS. He has published 200+ articles and abstracts on geology and energy resources.

The U.S.G.S. report is one of the first indications that the America’s shale gas fields may extend much further than previously believed.

From the June 4, 2012 report, “Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the East Coast Mesozoic Basins of the Piedmont, Blue Ridge Thrust Belt, Atlantic Coastal Plain, and New England Provinces, 2011,”:

Using a geology-based assessment method, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) estimated a mean undiscovered natural gas resource of 3,860 billion cubic feet and a mean undiscovered natural gas liquids resource of 135 million barrels in continuous accumulations within five of the East Coast Mesozoic basins: the Deep River, Dan River-Danville, and Richmond basins, which are within the Piedmont Province of North Carolina and Virginia; the Taylorsville basin, which is almost entirely within the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province of Virginia and Maryland; and the southern part of the Newark basin (herein referred to as the South Newark basin), which is within the Blue Ridge Thrust Belt Province of New Jersey, The provinces, which contain these extensional basins, extend across parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

Milici told NaturalGasWatch.org that his U.S.G.S. team assessed only five basins because of limited resources, choosing to assess only those basins that seemed to have the greatest chance of providing recoverable gas deposits.

Milici said that just because his team didn’t assess all the basins, though, doesn’t mean that there is nothing underground.

“There’s some evidence, just looking at the geological literature, that there’s something there. How much is speculative, though. Maybe someone will drill a wildcat well in the next 20 years or so and get lucky.”

Milici will discuss the report in greater detail on Aug. 9 at a shale gas conference in North Carolina sponsored by the American Groundwater Trust.

You can read and download the entire report here: USGS East Coast Shale Gas Report June 2012

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2 Comments to “U.S. Geological Survey Researchers Find Shale Gas in Massachusetts, Connecticut”

  1. [...] may be natural gas deep below the surface of Western and Central Massachusetts. Here’s the naturalgaswatch.org story on the subject, which contains a link to the report itself. If advances in horizontal [...]

  2. Nate says:

    It would be nice if the graphic was readable so we could see what the key says.

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