Maryland Department of Natural Resources

Natural Gas

History of Natural Gas Exploration and Production in Maryland

Maryland contains five physiographic provinces. From east to west, they are: the Atlantic Coastal Plain, the Piedmont, the Blue Ridge, the Ridge and Valley, and the Appalachian Plateaus Provinces. Only rocks from the Altantic Coastal Plain (and continental shelf), Ridge and Valley, and Appalachian Plateau are potentially hydrocarbon bearing and may be suitable for exploration. Maryland is one of 33 states that produce oil and gas

The first exploration well in Maryland was drilled in 1888 in the Cumberland Narrows, northwest of the town of Cumberland. In 1944, the first evidence of natural gas was found in a well drilled on the Accident Dome in Garrett County. Saltwater in the well made gas production difficult and the well was abandoned. Natural gas was later discovered in four fields in the Appalachian region of Maryland. The fields are: Mountain Lake Park, Accident, Negro Mountain, and Pennlands (Artemas). No petroleum has been found in Maryland.

Since 1995, only three exploration wells have been drilled in Maryland. They are named the: Turm Oil Company Broadwater #1 (Garret County, 1995)-- Broadwater #1 was a dry hole, Fox Oil and Gas, Inc.; Curry #1 (Allehany County, 1995)--Curry #1 well was a gas discovery and is currently producing natural gas; and, Fox Oil and Gas, Inc., Barton #1 (Allegany County, 1995)--Barton #1 was a dry hole.

In 1999, annual production of gas in Maryland was 16,506,000 cubic feet from eight wells, down from a record high of 4,543,058,000 cubic feet in 1959