About This Item

Share This Item

The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 56 (1972)

Issue: 7. (July)

First Page: 1145

Last Page: 1174

Title: North American Drilling Activity in 1971

Author(s): Charles F. Iglehart (2)


During 1971 the oil industry in North America drilled more than 27,000 mi of hole in 31,084 wells. Compared with 1970 this is a substantial decrease, approximately 7% in both wells and footage.

Each of the 3 countries had a decrease in drilling compared with 1970. The 27,300 wells in the United States represented a decrease of 7.4%, the 3,268 wells in Canada a slight decrease of 0.4%, and the 516 wells in Mexico a decrease of 1.3%.

Exploratory drilling on the North American continent continues to show a downward trend. The United States has been in a long-term downward trend since 1956. Canada has experienced declining exploratory activity since 1961. Mexico, however, has had about the same level of activity for the past 8 years.

New-field discoveries for the United States declined 12% compared with the previous year. These new fields found estimated reserves of 569 million bbl and 4.9 Tcf gas. Both reserve figures represent decreases compared with 1970; 28.7% for oil and 6.6% for gas.

If this downward trend in exploration drilling continues, the amount of future additions to domestic reserves from new-field discoveries must continue to decrease.

Pay-Per-View Purchase Options

The article is available through a document delivery service. Explain these Purchase Options.

Watermarked PDF Document: $14
Open PDF Document: $24

AAPG Member?

Please login with your Member username and password.

Members of AAPG receive access to the full AAPG Bulletin Archives as part of their membership. For more information, contact the AAPG Membership Department at [email protected].