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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 38 (1954)

Issue: 6. (June)

First Page: 1139

Last Page: 1155

Title: Developments in West Texas and Southeastern New Mexico in 1953

Author(s): Robert H. Martin (2)


Exploratory drilling increased during the past year, with a total number of 1,125 tests in 1953 as compared with 1,039 in 1952. The per cent successful increased slightly, being 27 per cent in 1953 and 26 per cent in 1952. Of the new-field wildcat discoveries, 51 were located by seismograph and 54 by subsurface methods. Of the 301 successful exploratory wells, 129 were Permian, 107 Pennsylvanian, and 65 pre-Pennsylvanian. The most important new discoveries were the Prichard, Wemac, Andrews, and Emma-Ellenburger fields in Andrews County, the Headlee field in Ector County, the Lea field in Crane County, Texas, and the Anderson Ranch field in Lea County, New Mexico.

Development drilling decreased sharply because of the shut-in of a large part of the Spraberry field to arrest excessive gas flaring. Total development wells in 1953 were 3,401 as compared with 4,640 in 1952.

Seismic activity was down slightly with 5,382 crew-weeks in 1953 as compared with 5,843 in 1952. Gravity-meter exploration was up with 677 crew-weeks in 1953 and 455 crew-weeks in 1952.

Keen competition and high prices, plus over-rides and oil payments, figured prominently in the leasing picture on the Central Basin platform, Northwestern shelf, and Eastern shelf, and in the Midland basin. Movement into some of the less explored basins is slow, because the present producing provinces are far from being completely explored and are still highly attractive to the oil companies.

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