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ABSTRACT: Sub-Devonian Oil and Gas Plays in the Michigan Basin-Past Successes, Future Potential

HARRISON, WILLIAM B., III, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, MI

Michigan basin oil production began in 1925 in the Mississippian Berea Sandstone. Two years later, production was found in the Devonian Traverse and Dundee limestones. The first natural gas production was in 1929 from the Devonian Dundee Limestone.

Sub-Devonian gas production first occurred in Silurian strata in 1929, but the production was insignificant until the discovery of Silurian reefs in 1945. From the 1950s through the 1980s, Silurian reef production dominated the oil and gas industry in Michigan. This Silurian reef play forms sublinear belts around the northern and southern margins of the central basin. Total reef production exceeds 325 million bbl of oil and 1.0 tcf of gas, 32% of all of the oil and 73% of all of the gas ever produced in the basin.

Ordovician production began in 1935 with small production from fractured dolomitic zones within Middle Ordovician limestones. A great increase in production occurred with the discovery o the state's only giant field, Albion-Scipio trend, in 1957. These Middle Ordovician, Trenton-Black River fields have produced over 130 million bbl of oil and 250 bcf of gas, 13% and 10%, respectively, of the basin total.

In 1980, Middle and Lower Ordovician production was found in sandstones of the Glenwood, St. Peter, and Prairie du Chien intervals in the central basin. Although many field have only recently been brought into production, the play has already produced over 150 bcf of gas, with minor condensate oil

No production is reported from Cambrian or Precambrian units, although shows suggest these intervals might represent future potential.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #91013©1992 AAPG Eastern Section Meeting, Champaign, Illinois, September 20-22, 1992 (2009)