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Total drilling activity in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia increased 4.5% from 1977. A total of 674 tests was drilled compared to 645 in 1977. Exploratory drilling increased from 313 to 314 and new-field discoveries increased from 30 to 35 in 1978. New-field success rate was 11.4% compared to 10.1% in 1977. Mississippi was the most active state with 494 tests and 28 of the new-field discoveries.
The shallow Wilcox trend of southwestern Mississippi was the leading drilling trend with 35% of the tests and 11 of the new-field discoveries. Drilling activity also increased in the Paleozoic, Lower Cretaceous, and Upper Cretaceous trends where 22%, 19%, and 9%, respectively, of the total drilling was conducted. Activity remained the same in the Jurassic trend, which had 15% of the tests drilled.
Total drilling activity will probably show a slight decline in 1979. Acreage for leasing will remain scarce and competitive, but drilling rigs should be readily available. Most drilling activity will be conducted by independents and smaller companies but major companies will also be active.
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