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GeoShurr Resources, LLC, Ellsworth, MN

Abstract: Shallow Gas Potentials on the Eastern Margin of the Williston Basin

Shallow natural gas production is concentrated around the margins of the Williston Basin. On the western margin, current activity had early origins with production for local domestic and municipal use at the turn of the century. On the eastern margin, there are three areas that had a similar initial early development, but have not subsequently been utilized. These are: 1) Souris River area in Bottineau and Renville Counties, ND, 2) LaMoure County, ND, and 3) Pierre Gas Field in Stanley and Hughes Counties, SD. In addition to having no development and minimal production over the last ninety years, these three areas share similar geologic attributes.

Cretaceous clastic rocks are the reservoirs in all three areas: production in the Souris River area corresponds with Hell Creek and Fox Hills subcrops; both the LaMoure, ND, and Pierre, SD, areas have production from the Dakota Sandstone. Artesian conditions are present in all three areas. Consequently, the gas production is part of active hydrodynamic systems. Patterns of regional ground water flow and associated gas production are closely related to linear features and lineament zones mapped on satellite images. There is apparently a significant component of fracture porosity and permeability that influences fluid movement. Other Cretaceous formations, especially the Niobrara, have gas shows documented in all three areas.

The three areas of historic gas production on the eastern margin of the Williston Basin represent an unused exploration opportunity. Pipelines are available in all three areas; modem exploration and completion techniques have not been applied; and leases are probably relatively cheap.

AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90919©1999 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section Meeting, Bozeman, Montana