Gas Reservoir Character of Devonian Shales of Kentucky

Contact: Brandon Nuttall

CD-ROM now available

New Albany Shale isopach and structural features
from the "GIS Compilation of Gas Potential of the New
Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin" (2000, in press)

Fractured Devonian shales act both as source rock and as reservoir for most of the gas reserves of Kentucky, most notably the Ohio Shale of eastern Kentucky, but also the New Albany Shale of western Kentucky. Despite decades of investigation, these unusual reservoirs are not well understood; therefore, shale-gas development is often marginally commercial outside traditional shale-gas-producing areas. This research is considered to be vital, since development of this resource is expected to rapidly grow, especially in the Illinois Basin, within the next several years. This growth could be hampered in the short term by low natural-gas pricing, but long term, this resource is likely to be strongly developed. A small project was completed this year on the New Albany Shale in conjunction with the Illinois Basin Consortium and the Gas Research Institute. Natural gas production from the New Albany Shale in western Kentucky dates back to the late 1800's, but little drilling had been done in this Devonian formation (deposited 360 to 410 million years ago) until recently. This project includes an update of the New Albany Shale stratigraphic database for western Kentucky, completed in 1992, with stratigraphic tops and thicknesses for the New Albany Shale in more than 800 new wells (drilled since 1991). A bibliography for the New Albany was also compiled as part of this project. CD-ROM GRI-00/0068, entitled GIS Compilation of Gas Potential of the New Albany Shale in the Illinois Basin, is now available. A copy of the CD-ROM can be ordered by contacting the Kentucky Geological Survey Publication Sales office at (859) 257-3896 or toll-free at (877) 778-7827. Cost is $75 for the CD-ROM plus $9.00 shipping and handling.

© 2000 Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
Created 7-Aug-2000