The occurrence of natural gas in Michigan has been recognized for many years, but commercial quantities of gas were not developed until the discovery of the Muskegon field in 1927. The total gas production from the Muskegon field to August 1, 1931, has been 6,420,949,662 cubic feet. The Central Michigan area now shows a potential open-flow capacity of more than 60 million cubic feet from 22 wells, but withdrawals have been small because of inadequate pipe-line facilities.
Gas production is obtained from Mississippian sandstones and porous Devonian dolomitic limestones, the latter being most prolific of gas in structures marginal to the Michigan “basin.” The Michigan stray sandstones of Mississippian age are evidently overlapping sandstone bodies in the central part of the state that are the product of the reworking of the Marshall sandstone by a northwestward transgressing sea. The “Dundee “productive horizon is of Devonian age and its porosity is the result of solution due to the presence of the Dundee-Traverse unconformity.
The structures which have affected the accumulation of natural gas in Michigan are comparatively gentle, asymmetrical anticlines with 50–70 feet of closure. The steep dip on the basinward side varies from 100 to 240 feet per mile and the gentle dip is generally about 50 feet per mile. The general shape of the anticlines in many places is arcuate, and the intersection of the prevailing northwest-southeast structural trend with areas of northeast-southwest cross-folding seems to localize the occurrence of natural gas in the state.