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Kentucky is host to two refineries, located in Catlettsburg and Somerset. The Catlettsburg refinery is the larger of the two and receives crude oil supply from the Gulf Coast via the Capline Pipeline. The much smaller Somerset refinery processes crude oil produced regionally in Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia Most of the oil in the region is produced from Mississippian limestone and sandstone in eastern and western Kentucky or from Ordovician limestone and dolomites in southern Kentucky. Most natural gas is produced from the Devonian black shale in eastern Kentucky. Oil and natural gas occur throughout much of western, south-central, and eastern Kentucky. At the surface, early explorers and settlers found many seeps, evidenced by place names such as Burning Springs, Oil Springs, and Oil Valley.
Kentucky's natural gas production mainly comes from the Big Sandy field in the eastern part of the State. The majority of Kentucky's natural gas is supplied by pipeline from the Gulf Coast. Industry is Kentucky's largest natural gas-consuming sector, accounting for about one-half of total natural gas consumption in the State. More than two-fifths of Kentucky households use natural gas as their primary fuel for home heating, which in turn creates extended demand for natural gas production in this region vs. pipeline.
All of Kentucky's counties have been tested to varying depths for oil and gas resources. Production was reported from 65 counties. In general, oil production dominates in the Western coal field and South Central areas of Kentucky. Kentucky has an estimated 18,000 producing oil wells and 13,000 producing gas wells.
From recent studies done by the U.S. Geological Survey, it has been established that the Appalachian mountain range possesses large reserves of untapped oil and gas. Thus, because of these reasons that are backed by the geological surveys done in this region, points to the fact that this region is floating on oil and gas reserves. This could be worth a fortune for the people who drill in this region of Kentucky. Oil and natural gas occur throughout much of western, south-central, and eastern Kentucky. Kentucky's oil and gas industry began in the early 19th century with pioneers searching for salt brines for use in tanning, food preservation, and livestock agriculture. In 1818, Martin Beatty was searching for brine in what is now the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area in south eastern Kentucky.