Despite the downturn in drilling attendant upon price uncertainties which surfaced in late 1981, completions recorded in the U.S. in 1983 stood second only to the 1982 total.
Deep drilling declined more sharply in relation to 1982. And, pure exploration… new field wildcats drilled… declined. The new field wildcat success rate was less than 17 percent, down from a four year average of more than 18.5 percent.
Oil wells, as a percentage of total completions, increased. Gas wells, however, fell back to 18 percent, the lowest level in a decade.
Crude and condensate production remained about level with prior years since drilling reversed the early Seventies downward trend in production. Gas production declined, not because of ability to produce, but because of decline in market.
In the first four years of the Eighties, some 306,000 wells were completed. This is approximately 10 percent of all domestic drilling to date.
Exploration below 15,000 feet over the four years has had a success ratio of 14 percent demonstrating the additional potential remaining to be exploited under proper economic conditions.
Demand will increase through most of the remainder of the century, assuring upward progression of prices and, consequently, continued high levels of drilling. This is essential to the welfare of the nation, since in recent years reserve replacements have not equalled withdrawals.
In 1984 an average of about 2,600 rotary rigs will be active and it is expected that approximately 70,000 wells will be drilled in the United States.