Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Hartford-Deerfield Basin, Connecticut and Massachusetts
Published:December 01, 2015
James L. Coleman, Jr., 2015. "Geology and Hydrocarbon Potential of the Hartford-Deerfield Basin, Connecticut and Massachusetts", Petroleum Systems in “Rift” Basins, Paul J. Post, James Coleman, Jr., Norman C. Rosen, David E. Brown, Tina Roberts-Ashby, Peter Kahn, Mark Rowan
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The Hartford-Deerfield basin, a Late Triassic to Early Jurassic rift basin located in central Connecticut and Massachusetts, is the northernmost basin of the onshore Mesozoic rift basins in the eastern United States. The presence of asphaltic petroleum in outcrops indicates that at least one active petroleum system has existed within the basin. However, to-date oil and gas wells have not been drilled in the basin to test any type of petroleum trap. There are good to excellent quality source rocks (up to 3.8% present day total organic carbon) within the Jurassic East Berlin and Portland formations. While these source rock intervals are fairly extensive and at peak oil to peak gas stages of maturity, individual source rock beds are relatively thin (typically less than 1 m) based solely on outcrop observations. Potential reservoir rocks within the Hartford-Deerfield basin are arkosic conglomerates, pebbly sandstones, and finer grained sandstones, shales, siltstones, and fractured igneous rocks of the Triassic New Haven and Jurassic East Berlin and Portland formations (and possibly other units). Sandstone porosity data from 75 samples range from less than 1% to 21%, with a mean of 5%. Permeability is equally low, except around joints, fractures, and faults. Seals are likely to be unfractured intra-formational shales and tight igneous bodies. Maturation, generation, and expulsion likely occurred during the late synrift period (Early Jurassic) accentuated by an increase in local geothermal gradient, igneous intrusions, and hydrothermal fluid circulation. Migration pathways were likely along syn- and postrift faults and fracture zones. Petroleum resources, if present, are probably unconventional (continuous) accumulations as conventionally accumulated petroleum is likely not present in significant volumes.