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Of the approximately 350 oil and gas tests drilled in South Dakota before July 1, 1959, only 56 per cent reached the Pennsylvanian rocks. Less than 17 per cent of the total penetrated all of the formations and thus reached the Precambrian.
Twenty-two per cent of all holes reported shows of oil or gas; however, in the Williston Basin area and its fringes, the percentage of shows has been twice as great.
The Buffalo field in the southwestern part of the Williston Basin is experiencing a boom, with 12 holes completed as producers in the Ordovician Red River dolomite at a depth of approximately 8,500 feet, in the six months between May 20, 1959, and November 20, 1959. Daily production is more than 1,500 bbl. oil, with a small amount of gas. The only other oil production in the state is from the Pennsylvanian Leo sands at a depth of 1,400 feet in a well in the southern Black Hills.
Future exploration will be directed toward stratigraphic-structural traps in the Williston Basin portion of South Dakota, where increased activity is expected in 1960. The oil possibilities of the Cretaceous, Jurassic, and Pennsylvanian sands merit further systematic work. The Kennedy Basin area will probably be tested by wildcatters who are attempting to corroborate the Pennsylvanian shows in nearby parts of Nebraska, as will the Forest City Basin in the extreme southeastern corner of the state.
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