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CARLSON, MARVIN P., and RAYMOND R. BURCHETT, Nebraska Geological Survey, Lincoln NE; and WILLIAM H. SYDOW, Nebraska Oil and Gas Commission, Sidney, NE

Abstract: Occurrence and Development of Petroleum in Nebraska

Nebraska's first documented exploratory test was in 1889 near Dannebrog (Howard County). About 75 dry holes were drilled from 1903-1939. Forest City Basin discoveries focused attention on southeastern Nebraska. In November, 1939, the Pawnee Royalty Company #1 Boice (Richardson County) was completed in Hunton (Devonian) carbonate. Deeper reservoirs (Viola-Ordovician) were discovered but activity declined. The Ohio Oil #1 Mary Egging was completed in Dakota (Cretaceous) sandstones in June, 1949 in the Nebraska Panhandle - the discovery for the multistate Denver Basin.

In 1960, the Murfin #1 Barth (Red Willow County) was completed in the Lansing-Kansas City (Pennsylvanian) limestone and the basal Pennsylvanian sand to open the Sleepy Hollow Field in southwest Nebraska. Activity reached an all-time high in 1961; 1,022 tests yielded 351 oil wells, 239 of these in southwest Nebraska. Economics in the 1970s allowed several multi-well programs across the state - unfortunately no significant discoveries. Older Paleozoic reservoirs in siltstone and dolomite (Pennsylvanian and Permian) under the Cretaceous Denver Basin were discovered in 1980 by the Diamond Shamrock #1 McMillan (Cheyenne County). Gas was discovered but undeveloped in the Niobrara chalky shale (Cretaceous) east of the Panhandle. As of January 1, 1998, 18,665 wells have been drilled in Nebraska and cumulative production to that date was 478,132,429 barrels Creative exploration, technology, and economics could again put the industry in Nebraska into a growth pattern.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90921©1999 AAPG Mid-Continent Section Meeting, Wichita, Kansas