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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 38 (1954)

Issue: 6. (June)

First Page: 1028

Last Page: 1040

Title: Developments in Colorado, Nebraska, and Utah in 1953

Author(s): Bruce F. Curtis (2)


Drilling activity in Nebraska, Colorado, and Utah reached a new high in 1953 with 32% more wells than in 1952. Most intense development drilling was in the Little Beaver-Badger Creek area in the Denver Basin of Colorado. Exploratory drilling decreased somewhat in Nebraska and Utah, but this was more than compensated for by a 70% increase in eastern Colorado's exploratory wells.

Exploration of Cretaceous sandstones in the Denver Basin was guided by discovery in Colorado's Little Beaver area of pays much thicker and more porous than those previously found in the basin. Discovery of Mesaverde oil at Chapita Wells and of shallow Green River oil with 30° pour point was important to exploration in Utah's Uinta Basin. Interest in the gas of the Wasatch Plateau was increased by a Dakota sandstone discovery at Flat Canyon.

Discovery of oil in the Permian Lyons sandstone of the Denver Basin was of outstanding importance and overshadowed the short lived newly discovered Greenhorn limestone production in the Denver Basin, as well as the establishment of substantial oil production in the Lance formation of northwestern Colorado.

Important extensions of three gas fields were made in 1953. These were at West Sidney in Nebraska, Ignacio in Colorado, and Clear Creek in Utah.

Particularly valuable geologic information was supplied by dry exploratory tests in central Utah, off the northeast flank of Colorado's Uncompahgre uplift, on the west flank of the Denver Basin and in southeastern Colorado.

The trend in oil-finding techniques was unchanged from previous years with seismic and subsurface work accounting for most discoveries east of the Rocky Mountains, but with surface and subsurface geology most important in and west of the mountains. In each state the amount of seismic work decreased, but gravity work expanded in Colorado and Utah.

Discoveries in and adjacent to southeastern Colorado have resulted in an exploratory play which is expected to intensify in 1954. Leasing and exploration also point to increased 1954 drilling activity in western Colorado and in central and southeastern Utah. The Colorado part of the Denver Basin is expected to remain the most active part of the Rocky Mountain region in 1954.

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