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AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 56 (1972)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1329

Last Page: 1330

Title: Developments on Atlantic Coastal Plain Between New Jersey and South Carolina in 1971

Author(s): Horace G. Richards (2)


Eighteen dry holes were drilled on the coastal plain of North Carolina. A test well was drilled to basement in Accomack County, Virginia. Increased interest was shown in the possibility of drilling on the continental shelf off the Atlantic Coastal Plain. Geophysical work continued on the continental shelf.


No wells were drilled on the coastal plain of Maryland in 1971. The location of a USGS test well drilled in Queen Annes County was given incorrectly in the 1970 Development Paper. The correct location of this well is N 39°12^prime03^Prime, W 76°02^prime42^Prime.


The J and J Enterprises E. G. Taylor No. 1-G well was completed in May 1971, as a stratigraphic test to basement on the eastern shore of Virginia near Temperanceville in Accomack County, about 8 mi south of the Virginia-Maryland boundary. The U.S. Geological Survey contracted for the first 3,000 ft to obtain data on stratigraphy and aquifers. Various petroleum companies arranged to have the well drilled into basement which was reached at a depth of about 6,186 ft (-6,134 ft). "Redbeds" of Triassic age, 116 ft thick, overlie the basement; TD was 6,272 ft. A complete set of samples is on file at the Virginia Division of Mineral Resources and a summary has been published (Onuschak, 1972).


Eighteen test wells were drilled in North Carolina as indicated in Table 1.

Seismic surveys were continued on the continental shelf by a combination of oil companies. Operator for this combine for 1971 was Getty. In the summer of 1971, virtually all activity was north of Cape Hatteras.


According to newspaper reports (November 2, 1971), the Interior Department was prepared to lease areas off the Maryland-New Jersey shore and off Cape Cod for exploratory drilling for oil. It was suggested that the first area for leasing would be the "Baltimore Canyon" which is about 150 mi long and 40-60 mi wide, and lies about 20 mi off the New Jersey-Maryland coast. The second probable area to be made available was Georges Bank off Long Island and New England.

Considerable opposition has been raised to any proposed offshore drilling, partly by the states and partly by conservation groups. On January 11, 1972, Secretary of the Interior Rogers C. B. Morton held a briefing for East Coast governors and other officials concerning the question of continental shelf exploration and development. It was made clear that the Department of the Interior is planning no action on leasing until the question of offshore state-federal jurisdiction is resolved by the Supreme Court. Secretary Morton indicated that future development on the continental shelf will be closely coordinated with the state governments.

Two summaries of the geology and oil possibilities of the shelf off the southeastern states have been published (Maher and Applin, 1971; Spivak and Shelbourne, 1971).

Table 1. Exploratory Wells Drilled in North Carolina, 1971

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