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More wells were drilled in 1941 in Illinois and southwestern Indiana than in any previous year except 1907 when drilling reached a peak in that area. Drilling declined in western Kentucky, making the total number of completions in the Eastern Interior basin in 1941 slightly less than in 1940. Much of the 1941 drilling (both pool and wildcat) was concentrated in the deep basin area in the region of the lower Wabash River in Illinois and Indiana where 44 new pools and 43 extensions were discovered. None of the new pools was of major size and the total output of new wells in the whole area failed to offset the decline of the older wells. Total production from the Eastern Interior basin in 1941 is estimated at 145,603,000 barrels as compared with 154,796,000 barrels in 1940, decline of 6 per cent. Percentage of the national total was 10.3 in 1941 as compared with 11.5 in 1940.
Rocks of the Mississippian system continue to yield most of the oil in the area--91.5 per cent of the Illinois total of 133,750,000 barrels in 1941. No new Devonian production was discovered in Illinois in 1941 and the Devonian wells, which yielded an estimated 26 per cent of the Illinois total in 1940, produced only 6 per cent of the total in 1941. Pennsylvanian and Ordovician strata yielded estimated amounts of 1.7 and 0.9 per cent, respectively. Geologic studies indicate that lenticular sand conditions are important in controlling the occurrence of the oil.
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