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This report, the sixteenth based on data gathered by the Committee on Statistics of Exploratory Drilling, is the twenty-fifth annual summary on the subject published in the Bulletin. Frederic H. Lahee prepared this statistical analysis and wrote the annual article for twenty consecutive years. Graham B. Moody prepared the report for exploratory drilling for 1956, and B. W. Blanpied prepared it for 1957, 1958, and 1959. This is the first report for the present chairman.
During 1960, 11,704 exploratory holes were drilled in the United States; 2,189 of these produced some oil or gas representing 18.70% of all exploratory effort. There were 7,320 new-field wildcats, 745 of which produced some oil or gas, representing 10.18% of all new-field wildcats. New-pool tests (including new-pool wildcats, deeper-pool tests, and shallower-pool tests) for 1960 totaled 1953 holes, 616 or 31.54% of which produced some oil or gas. There were 2,431 outposts; 828 of them, or 34.060%, produced some oil or gas.
The total exploratory footage drilled in the United States in 1960 was 55,830,684 ft. in the 11,704 holes, or 4,770 ft. per hole. These figures compare with 63,252,521 ft. drilled in 13,191 exploratory holes, with an average depth of 4,795 ft. in 1959.
For the second time data are presented on natural gas reserves in the 17-States Area by years, for discoveries having 6 years of development history.
Only about 2% of all new-field wildcats discover a profitable field although 11-12% are "successful" in that they produce some oil or gas.
For the thirteenth time, we are presenting data on Canada and Mexico.
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