Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Eberly College of Arts and Sciences


Geology and Geography

Committee Chair

Timothy R Carr

Committee Co-Chair

Joseph Smith

Committee Member

Amy Weislogel


The Middle Ordovician Point Pleasant Formation has become a major focus in the United States for unconventional, horizontal drilling. It stretches throughout Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, Kentucky, and West Virginia and is estimated to contain upwards of 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 940 million barrels of oil. Due to its low porosity, low permeability, and great burial depth, the Point Pleasant was not considered an economically feasible option until recent advancements in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing techniques. In order to increase production and drill more profitable wells, the geology of the Point Pleasant Formation needs to be studied in greater detail. To do this, mineralogy, porosity, total organic content (TOC), geochemistry, and geomechanical properties are studied further as they directly relate to the sequence stratigraphy and depositional environment.;PDC Energy's Palmer 44-20 well was used to evaluate factors impacting production. The units of the Trenton Limestone to the Utica Shale represent three, third order sequences based on transgressive-regressive sequences. Approximately 1,711 wells and the Palmer's core were used to evaluate geological parameters affecting production. The 184 foot (56.08 meters) long Palmer core was described in detail and was accompanied by X-Ray Diffraction (XRD) results, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) images, thin section photographs and advanced mineralogical logs. TOC-rich intervals were identified using the Passey DeltaLogR method, the Schmoker bulk density method, and a regression fit between bulk density and TOC. The results of each of these tests were compared to TOC data taken from the core. Geomechanical properties were calculated using Poisson's Ratio, Young's Modulus, and mineralogy. Collectively, the results provide insights into the depositional environment and productive zones of the Point Pleasant in eastern Ohio.