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Drilling for oil and gas in Saskatchewan began in 1888, and in 64 years 440 significant exploratory wells have been drilled. Thirteen oil and nine gas fields have been discovered, almost all on the western side of the Province, with production from Lower Cretaceous, Jurassic and Mississippian formations. With the exception of a large exploratory program carried on from 1940-46 by Imperial Oil, serious exploration of Saskatchewan did not begin until 1949. Since that time over 125 exploratory wells have been drilled and very large areas have been mapped geophysically. The principal exploratory methods are the reflection seismograph, structure drill, gravity meter, and ground and airborne magnetometer. The seismograph is the most popular exploratory tool and problems and results of the seismograph are discussed.

The southern half of Saskatchewan is underlain by sediments ranging in age from the Cambrian to the Paleocene, with all periods represented except the Pennsylvanian and the Permian. These sediments dip southward into the Williston basin. Four distinct types of local structure have been observed, none of which involve formations older than the Devonian. Two of these involve buried topography in Paleozoic rocks, but the type causing greatest problems in interpretation concerns the rapid variation in thickness of Devonian salt beds. It is suggested that the salt formations at one time extended considerably farther to the southwest than they are now known to occur, and that solution of the salt with collapse and subsidence of the overlying section has resulted in flexure and distortion which has commonly been mistaken for true folding.

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