The Arbuckle Group consists of Upper Cambrian and Lower Ordovician deposits. Production from the Arbuckle Dolomite occurs primarily in the north central part of the area with both oil and gas being present. Production is generally found in structurally high porosity zones, many of which may be termed paleogeoraphic or erosional traps, as the top of the Arbuckle is a major unconformity across the area.
The group includes the Eminence Dolomite, Gasconade Dolomite, Roubidoux Formation, Jefferson City Dolomite, and Cotter Dolomite. The Eminence is Late Cambrian in age; the other formations are Early Ordovician in age. "Arbuckle" sometimes is used for all rocks between the top of the Lamotte Sandstone and the base of the Simpson Group. Some authors restrict the term "Arbuckle" to rocks of Ordovician age.
Since the 1910’s, several billion barrels of oil have been produced from the Central Kansas Uplift (CKU), primarily from carbonate reservoirs within the Arbuckle and Lansing-Kansas City (Pennsylvanian) Groups. The Arbuckle fields of central Kansas followed closely on the heels of the Arbuckle discovery in 1917 at El Dorado field in Butler County, Kansas, and these Arbuckle fields represent the first oil production in the western ranges of Kansas. Most Arbuckle reservoirs of central Kansas were drilled prior to 1955 and constitute a series of giant and near-giant oil fields.
The Arbuckle Group (Merriam, 1963) consists mainly of white, buff, light-gray, cream, and brown crystalline dolomite. Chert is common in the upper part. Where the Lamotte Sandstone is absent, the Bonneterre Dolomite and Arbuckle rocks commonly overlie the Precambrian. The Arbuckle Group has an aggregate thickness exceeding 1,200 feet, and thickens toward Oklahoma and Missouri.
As in the past, the ongoing and future research and an increased understanding of Arbuckle Group strata in Kansas will be closely tied into petroleum industry practices, trends, needs, and economic factors. Improved reservoir characterization and IOR efforts could potentially lead to recovery of hundreds of millions of barrels of oil from Arbuckle reservoirs in Kansas.