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Book Chapter

Future Hydrocarbon Potential of Atlantic Coastal Province

By
J. Spivak
J. Spivak
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O. B. Shelburne
O. B. Shelburne
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Published:
January 01, 1971

Abstract

Although no fields have been found to date in the United States part of the Atlantic Coast north of Florida, large speculative reserves of oil and gas are believed to be present beneath the coastal plain, continental shelf, and continental slope. Speculative recoveries estimated from volume of sedimentary rocks are 13 billion bbl of petroleum and natural gas liquids and 74 trillion cu ft of gas. Ninety percent of these predicted reserves is offshore, and most accumulations are expected to be found north of Cape Fear.

The Atlantic Coastal province is an untested area. Onshore, there is one well per 390 sq mi (1,010 sq km). Offshore, there are no wells in the 118,000 sq mi (305,600 sq km) lying beyond inland waters.

Well control on the coastal plain has revealed a seaward-dipping and seaward-thickening wedge of Cretaceous and Tertiary rocks. The extension of this wedge can be extrapolated beneath the continental shelf and slope with the aid of seismic refraction data and sea- floor samples. Coarse continental clastic beds in updip exposures grade into finer grained clastic beds and increase in percentage of marine beds seaward. Carbonate beds predominate south of Cape Fear and clastic beds predominate northward. Potential hydrocarbon- bearing rocks range in age from Miocene to Early Cretaceous. Older sedimentary rocks with potential may be discovered offshore. The sedimentary sequence on the shelf averages 7,500 ft (2,290 m) in thickness and reaches 16,000 ft (4,880 m) off New Jersey. It continues to thicken beneath the continental slope and may exceed 30,000 ft (9,140 m) on the Blake Plateau. Onshore well data and offshore bottom samples indicate that most of the sediments were deposited in transitional or shallow-marine environments, which should assure the presence of potential reservoirs and source beds.

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Contents

AAPG Memoir

Future Petroleum Provinces of the United States—Their Geology and Potential, Volumes 1 & 2

Ira H. Cram
Ira H. Cram
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American Association of Petroleum Geologists
Volume
15
ISBN electronic:
9781629812236
Publication date:
January 01, 1971

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