Paper No. 2
Presentation Time: 1:50 PM
GO EAST YOUNG MAN: TRENDS IN THE OHIO UTICA SHALE
The recent shale gas boom has brought much attention to Ohio because of its location above the Utica Shale, an Ordovician age rock formation that acts as both a source rock and reservoir rock for large amounts of hydrocarbons. Gas exploration is recent so minimal information is currently available to the scientific community. The goal of this research project is to measure the mineralogy and total organic carbon (TOC) of Utica Shale samples and to determine the relationships among these data with depth and east-west location. The mineralogical analysis focuses on the amount of clay minerals with respect to non-clay minerals. During hydraulic fracturing, rock must break cleanly to release hydrocarbons. Clays do not fracture in such an orderly way, complicating extraction. X-ray diffraction of randomly-oriented powder samples is employed to determine the qualitative and quantitative mineralogies. TOC is measured using an elemental analyzer after treating each sample with acid to dissolve inorganic carbon. Results are expected to show a correlation between TOC and clay content and an east to west pattern. This information could help locate drilling sites and lead to newly discovered shale gas plays.