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Fact Sheet 2012–3075

Assessment of Undiscovered Oil and Gas Resources of the East Coast Mesozoic Basins of the Piedmont, Blue Ridge Thrust Belt, Atlantic Coastal Plain, and New England Provinces, 2011

By Robert C. Milici, James L. Coleman, Elisabeth L. Rowan, Troy A. Cook, Ronald R. Charpentier, Mark A. Kirschbaum, Timothy R. Klett, Richard M. Pollastro, and Christopher J. Schenk

Thumbnail of and link to report PDF (561 KB)Abstract

During the early opening of the Atlantic Ocean in the Mesozoic Era, numerous extensional basins formed along the eastern margin of the North American continent from Florida northward to New England and parts of adjacent Canada. The basins extend generally from the offshore Atlantic continental margin westward beneath the Atlantic Coastal Plain to the Appalachian Mountains. Using a geology-based assessment method, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated a mean undiscovered natural gas resource of 3,860 billion cubic feet and a mean undiscovered natural gas liquids resource of 135 million barrels in continuous accumulations within five of the East Coast Mesozoic basins: the Deep River, Dan River-Danville, and Richmond basins, which are within the Piedmont Province of North Carolina and Virginia; the Taylorsville basin, which is almost entirely within the Atlantic Coastal Plain Province of Virginia and Maryland; and the southern part of the Newark basin (herein referred to as the South Newark basin), which is within the Blue Ridge Thrust Belt Province of New Jersey. The provinces, which contain these extensional basins, extend across parts of Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

First posted June 4, 2012

For additional information contact:
Robert C. Milici
U.S. Geological Survey
12201 Sunrise Valley Drive MS 956
Reston, VA 20192

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Suggested citation:

Milici, R.C., Coleman, J.L., Rowan, E.L., Cook, T.A., Charpentier, R.R., Kirschbaum, M.A., Klett, T.R., Pollastro, R.M., and Schenk, C.J., 2012, Assessment of undiscovered oil and gas resources of the East Coast Mesozoic basins of the Piedmont, Blue Ridge Thrust Belt, Atlantic Coastal Plain, and New England Provinces, 2011: U.S. Geological Survey Fact Sheet 2012–3075, 2 p. (Also available at

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