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The Newburg (subsurface equivalent to the Williamsport Sandstone of Late Silurian age) has been the most important pre-Middle Devonian drilling target in West Virginia for several years. Seven gas fields have been discovered, covering an area of about 110 sq mi. Two wells have produced commercial quantities of Pennsylvania grade crude oil. As of November 1, 1970, the fields had produced an estimated 150 billion cu ft of gas. The median producing depth is approximately 5,500 ft.
Trapping is both structural and stratigraphic, but predominantly controlled by porosity. Reported thicknesses of Newburg range from 0 to more than 25 ft but few wells have effective sandstone thicknesses in excess of 15 ft. Porosity values of 20% or more have been reported, but few sandstone beds with porosity of 8% or more are thicker than 10 ft. Permeability values in the more productive areas range up to more than 200 md.
Fields are located in the western third of the state, and the best possibilities for future production lie in the undrilled parts of this division. Second best prospects lie within the middle third of the state which has been sparsely drilled to sufficient depth, and where two Newburg gas shows have been reported. Possibilities for the eastern highly folded belt are problematical.
Some of the early wells were acidized, but now it is almost standard practice to fracture them; usually with very beneficial results. A few wells have been completed without stimulation.
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