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The Richmond basin, a rift basin of Late Triassic to Early Jurassic age in east-central Virginia, produced the first coal mined in the United States in the early 1700s. These Triassic coal beds are thick and gas-rich, and fatal explosions were common during the early history of exploitation. Since 1897, at least 38 confirmed oil, natural gas, and coal tests have been drilled within the basin. Although shows of asphaltic petroleum and natural gas indicate that active petroleum systems existed therein, no economic hydrocarbon accumulations have been discovered to-date.

The Richmond basin has been assessed by the U. S....

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