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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 38 (1954)

Issue: 5. (May)

First Page: 945

Last Page: 946

Title: Williston Basin Developments, 1951-1953: ABSTRACT

Author(s): Ray L. Harrison, Jr.

Article Type: Meeting abstract


The phenomenal rate of development in the Williston basin can best be visualized by remembering that at the end of 1950 there was not one producing oil well within the basin parts of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba. During three years of unprecedented exploratory drilling which followed the first commercial production of oil in the Williston basin (Virden field, T. 10 N., R. 28 WPM., Manitoba, Canada), 55 oil fields, 20 field extensions, and 4 gas fields have been discovered. During this period, production has been established from 16 different formations. One of the most spectacular discoveries during this period came in August, 1953, when

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flush production at 2,100 feet was developed in the Lodgepole (Mississippian) in the Roselea field, 56 miles north of the North Dakota line in Manitoba. Subsequent wells in the Roselea field have reported initials as high as 2,500 barrels of oil per day. The lack of sufficient well information makes it impractical to calculate the reserves represented by the fields thus far discovered; however, the most conservative estimate places this figure between 500 million and 1 billion barrels of recoverable oil.

The year 1953 witnessed the completion of the 300,000 barrels per day Interprovincial Pipe Line from Edmonton, Alberta, to Sarnia, Ontario, and marked the beginning of construction of three new refineries in North Dakota, which on completion will process 33,500 barrels of basin crude daily. 1953 also saw the completion of the 100,000-barrel-per-day common carrier Service Pipe Line from the Beaver Lodge-Tioga area to Mandan, North Dakota, the beginning of construction of a natural-gasoline plant at Tioga, North Dakota, and the completion of Stanolind's products line from Mandan to Fargo, North Dakota. There remains, however, an urgent need for additional marketing facilities before the full economic potential of the basin can be realized. Judged from recent official and unofficial anno ncements, plans to create new facilities are under way and the next five years should show marked progress in this direction.

With geophysical activity maintaining its record-breaking pace, and millions of acres of leases approaching one year closer to the expiration date of their primary terms, it is expected that 1954 will witness an unprecedented wildcat and field development program in the Williston basin. Excellent shallow production in Manitoba, the discovery of the first commercial oil in South Dakota, plus continued success in Montana, North Dakota, and Saskatchewan will serve as an incentive to substantiate this 1954 prediction.

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