Frac’ing banned in Delaware River Basin… So what? – Watts Up With That?

Frac’ing banned in Delaware River Basin… So what? – Watts Up With That?

Guest “a word away from real news” by David Middleton

If it were about the Delaware Basin, this would not be false news.

The Delaware River Basin Commission followed Vermont’s lead in banning fracking in a location with no oil and gas production or significant hydrocarbon potential.

The Delaware River Basin Commission prohibits fracking

by: Varvara Budetti

Posted: Feb 25, 2021

WEST TRENTON, NEW JERSEY (WBRE / WYOU-TV) – The Delaware River Basin Commission (DRBC) has passed a rule banning high volume hydraulic fracking, commonly known as fracking, in the basin.

The Delaware River Basin extends for much of the length of Eastern Pennsylvania.


PA homepage

Here is a map of the oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania and the Delaware River Basin:

Oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania (PA DEP) and Delaware River Basin (homepage of PA)

The two most important “Shale” games in Pennsylvania are the formations Marcellus (Devon) and Utica (Ordovician).

Marcellus / Utica Stratigraphic Column (

If you open the image below and zoom in on the Marcellus and Utica games, it appears that part of the Utica game falls into the Delaware River Basin.

Lower 48 Shale Games (EIA)

Looks can be deceiving, however. The image below is a structural map on top of the Utica Formation. The shading indicates thermal maturity: light green is prone to oil, pink is prone to wet gas, orange is prone to dry gas, and light purple is overripe (the stones are cooked too long). In the tanning areas, Ordovician ledges appear on the surface.

Utica Gas / Oil Playing Card (RRP)

The Delaware River forms the border between Pennsylvania and New York, New Jersey and Delaware. The vast majority of the Delaware River Basin is east of the Utica (Ordovician) outcrop.

Geological Map of Pennsylvania (PA DCNR). Click to enlarge.

Marcellus and Utica’s prospectivity ends pretty abruptly with a series of thrust (reverse) errors related to the Alleghanian orogeny. The Marcellus is no longer present on the upwardly thrown (east) side of the thrust fault, it was eroded a long time ago. The older Utica emerges east of the hanging wall and is exposed on the links of an openwork antique line. This cross-section tells the story, but it’s too complicated to publish as an image. The schematic cross-section below provides a general picture:

Tetra Tech

The frac’ing ban in the Delaware River Basin is classified as a fake news. It would have been strange news if those Democratic idiots believed they had actually banned frac’ing in the Delaware Basin.

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