The oil and gas provinces of the Appalachian region as considered in this paper are located in or adjacent to the Allegheny synclinorium. This long trough, as first reported by the Appalachian Geological Society in “Possible Future Oil Provinces of the United States and Canada,” 1941, was considered to extend for about 520 miles from eastern Kentucky to southern New York state with a maximum width of 320 miles in the central basin area. Subsequent exploration indicates that the synclinorium extends from Tennessee to central New York and is 700 miles in length. The eastern and southern boundary has been extended past the Appalachian structural front to the boundary of the basement complex. The area south of the Kentucky-Tennessee state line is not discussed in this paper.
The Appalachian region extending from the crest of the Cincinnati arch on the west to the boundary of the basement complex on the east as shown in Figure 126 is estimated to include 171,000 square miles and all of this area is regarded as a possible petroliferous province. The maximum thickness of sedimentary rocks is probably about 35,000 feet. About 50 per cent of the rock is shale and about 25 per cent of the shale is carbonaceous. Dolomite, anhydrite, dolomitic limestone, and limestone comprise about 30 per cent of the rock and the remaining 20 per cent is sandstone.
The entire region contains about 500,000 cubic miles of sedimentary rocks with 460,000 cubic miles above a depth of 20,000 feet and 40,000