Devonian black shales are present throughout the Appalachian Basin and in many regions are the source of significant natural gas production.

The Resource Assessment and Exploration Potential of the Devonian Gas Play in Virginia project will:

  • Develop a geologic model of the Devonian shale gas play in Virginia.
  • Assess the hydrocarbon resource in the area where it is currently productive.
  • Evaluate the exploration potential for this gas play in Virginia.

Advances in exploration and development technologies such as horizontal drilling and new fracturing techniques have increased production from shale-hosted reservoirs.  To enable the application of these techniques to the Devonian gas play in Virginia, regulatory reviews and approvals will be necessary.  Geologic maps and information will be needed to facilitate the regulation of production units that are appropriate for these production techniques.

Over 2,000 conventional gas wells have been drilled in Virginia, with the majority of them drilled in Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Russell, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise counties.  A majority of these wells were logged with wireline tools that recorded parameters such as radioactivity, porosity and resistivity.  Well logs for the conventional gas wells that are available in Virginia’s repository will be correlated to create structural, isopach and other attribute maps of the Devonian Lower Huron shale.  The development of the geological model will assist in understanding the history of natural gas production from the Lower Huron shale.

Geophysical logs from two gas wells in southwest Virginia

Geophysical logs from two gas wells in southwest Virginia. Measured properties of rock formations
are used to calculate the porosity and the characteristics of fluids in the pore spaces of the formations.