Tar Sands of Western Kentucky

Contact: Brandon Nuttall

Map of tar sand resources in Kentucky

Tar sands of western Kentucky comprise a major hydrocarbon resource of more than 3 billion barrels of heavy oil and tar in place in the shallow subsurface. This resource has been developed periodically for more than 100 years, depending on price and market considerations. With the declining availability and rising price of conventional oil, the tar sands will probably be commercial again in the future. In addition to their commercial potential, the western Kentucky tar sands provide a record of oil migration in the Illinois Basin, and are therefore of significance to petroleum geology research. A database on tar sands continues to be maintained, and M.C. Noger's "Tar-Sand Resources of Western Kentucky" has been reprinted as KGS Reprint 45 (Series 11).

© 2000 Kentucky Geological Survey, University of Kentucky
Created 19-Apr-2000