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For the 15th consecutive year, exploratory and development drilling for Middle Silurian Niagaran reefs dominated Michigan's oil and gas drilling activity. In 1983, 48% of the wells drilled were programmed for the Niagaran. Devonian Detroit River "sour zone" and "Richfield zone" targets were the next most popular objectives, accounting for 21% of the drilling. The remaining drilling was spread throughout Paleozoic rocks from the Mississippian to the early Ordovician.
Exploration resulted in 53 new discoveries, 70% of which were Niagaran reef reservoirs. A dual gas and condensate discovery was made in a well in eastern Newaygo County, stimulating the developing Clinton and Prairie du Chien plays in the central basin.
Exploratory footage amounted to 1,336,741 ft, and development footage amounted to 1,802,431 ft, compared with 2,088,433 ft of exploratory drilling and 1,758,535 ft of development drilling in 1982. An additional 73,333 ft is credited to facility or service wells drilled in 1983.
Oil production rose in 1983 while gas production declined. Preliminary figures show that Michigan produced 32,274,384 bbl of oil and 138,910 mmcf of gas.
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