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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 56 (1972)

Issue: 3. (March)

First Page: 660

Last Page: 660

Title: Pinnacle Reefs of Middle Devonian Onondaga Limestone, Upstate New York and Northern Pennsylvania: ABSTRACT

Author(s): H. R. Warters

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The Onondaga Limestone was first named by James Hall in 1839 for exposures in Onondaga County, New York. It was also Hall who in 1859 recognized that the facies of the lower part of the Onondaga (Edgecliff Member) originated through the accumulation of coral skeletons and wrote of the occurrence of "coral reefs" in many places.

It was not until 1967, 128 years after Hall's initial work, that the first hydrocarbon-productive Onondaga reef was entered in the subsurface with the drilling by the Wyckoff Development Company of the Douglas Cornell No. 1 well in Steuben County, New York. The well, which was to test a structural prospect in the underlying Oriskany Sandstone, quite unexpectedly found 148 ft of gas-productive Onondaga reef. Since that time, intensive seismic and subsurface work by Trend Exploration Limited, Anderson Oil, and Cabot Corporation has resulted in the discovery of additional gas-productive pinnacle reefs in the area. These reefs are approximately 200 ft high, have initial flow rates of 15 million cu ft/day and calculated open flow approaching 30 million cu ft/day.

A consideration of the regional paleogeology, as derived primarily from well-sample examination, mechanical well logs, and the integration of detailed seismic data, leads to the conclusion that the gas-productive area is part of a much more extensive potentially productive pinnacle-reef basin. The occurrence of pinnacle reefs within the basin is controlled by change of lower Onondaga (Edgecliff) reef-platform facies to nonreefal basinal facies accompanied by subsidence. The subsidence at reef growth time is extreme in some areas of the basin indicating that many reefs substantially taller than those already found are present.

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