Marcellus gas production on the western edge of the Allegheny Mountains

The maps that show the extent of the Marcellus formation show the western 1/3 of Bedford and Blair counties as having the formation, absence of the formation along the ridge tops, and the presence of the formation again on the eastern side of the mountains in eastern Bedford, Fulton and Huntington Counties.  I assume that the folding that took place to form the mountains, with subsequent erosion of the ridge tops, resulted in this ridgetop band where the Marcellus is not present.  If that is true, is the formation relatively flat where it does exist, or was it folded in western Bedford and Blair counties?  If it was folded, would it be fair to assume that it could be tapped using a modified vertical well, with the well bore following the dip of the formation?  Would this unique geologic setting positively or negatively impact well production in these "west of the ridge" locations?


I hope there is a geologist out there that understands how the deposit was formed and then impacted by the folding of the mountains.  Any informed input would be greatly appreciated.

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I supervised the drilling of a deep (15,000'+) exploratory well located just west of Everett, PA back in the mid-80's. No Marcellus whatsoever. In faulted Ordovician and Cambrian age carbonates the entire well.
Thanks Big Driller. Would it be correct to assume the geology in the area is highly variable? I've heard of the gas extreact from the Oriskany formation that now is proposed for gas storage in that same general area. Was this formation present when you drilled this monster well?
I don't know if anyone knows yet what production may be in these areas. In far eastern WV, Carrizo has four wells permitted (1 in Grant County, 2 in Hampshire County, and 1 in Hardy County); this would be just south of the areas you mention in PA. I believe that all four permitted wells in WV were originally vertical test wells, and that the one in Grant County is now being developed as a horizontal. The shale is very thick and deep in this area based upon info from old Oriskany wells, but will it be productive with the folding, etc.??
RBC Thanks for your insight and thoughts from drilling in far eastern WV. Seems with so much emphasis on the PA northern tier, some of these other areas aren't getting much attention.


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