An all time record for the number of wells drilled for oil and gas in one year was set in 1980. This continued an unbroken trend commenced in 1973.

Additions to the U.S. rotary rig fleet exceeded predictions. There was no significant seasonal downtrend in active rigs. The count, which started below 2,600 ended the year at 3,328. The previous record for rigs at work was broken in September.

As 1981 began there appeared to be virtually no doubt that the 1980 completion record would stand for one year only, and drilling in 1981 is expected to pass the 70,000 well mark.

Completions in 1980 increased by nearly 28 percent over 1979. The increase in footage cut amounted to 21.5 percent. Average total depth of wells dropped almost five percent.

At the same time there was a significant increase in deep drilling…wells bottomed below 15,000 feet.

Reflecting economic improvement, despite Federal excise taxes imposed on crude oil at the wellhead, oil well completions increased sharply, some 54.5 percent.

Gas well completions continued their upward trend, with a gain of some nine percent.

At 8.57 million barrels daily, crude and condensate production exceeded all years since 1974 except 1974 itself, and 1978. Production of natural gas was sustained at about 56 billion cubic feet daily.

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