During the past 12 months, total exploration and development drilling in the Denver basin maintained the relatively low but consistent plateau established during the previous year. Approximately 80–90% of the tests were drilled by independent operators. Major oil companies have been active in development drilling, secondary-recovery projects, and exploration in pre-Cretaceous formations, particularly the Permian and Pennsylvanian.

Significant discoveries in the Cretaceous “D” and “J” sandstone bodies were found in the older so-called “fairway” part of the basin. Here both subsurface control and land are available. In the available-land category are Logan and Morgan Counties, Colorado, and Cheyenne County, Nebraska.

Seismic activity took place only in the following areas: Weld County, east of Black Hollow field, the extreme southern part of the basin in Crowley and Pueblo Counties, and in the evaluation of “D” and “J” sandstone prospects.

The Colorado and Nebraska legislatures passed involuntary unitization laws. This, together with improved secondary-recovery methods, should increase ultimate recovery and profit on a per-well basis.

Largely because of the increased number of tests and information available, a few companies are using computers in their exploration programs.

The exploration pattern established during the past few years should continue.

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