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New oil discoveries and expansion of Green County oil field have made 1959 the best year in the history of oil production in Kentucky with 21,007,141 barrels produced to end of September. Green and Taylor counties had produced respectively 8,015,382 and 548,462 barrels in the same period from approximately 2,000 wells at depths from 350 to 500 feet. The Silurian Laurel dolomite, the main pay of the field, is found at depths of a few feet to about 60 feet below the New Albany black shale. Intercrystalline and vuggy porosity averages about 12 per cent and ranges up to 16 per cent. Permeabilities vary from a few up to 2,500 millidarcys. Thickness of the pay varies from a few feet to 25 feet, with 12 feet common.
An abundance of highly saline water produced with the oil from the field has posed a serious pollution problem of fresh-water supplies. The Kentucky Water Pollution Control Commission is making progress toward correction of the situation.
The search for oil has spread throughout central and eastern Kentucky on both flanks and crest of the Cincinnati arch. New oil fields and pool extensions have been found in Lincoln, Metcalfe, Allen, Barren, Hardin, Simpson, Cumberland, and Clinton counties. These relatively shallow areas produce from Lower Mississippian, Devonian, Silurian, and Ordovician rocks. Porosity zones truncated by New Albany black shale and fracture porosity in the Ordovician rocks form most of the oil traps. Some reef production is present in the Granville pay of the Ordovician in Clinton County.
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