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Eleven exploratory wells were drilled in Alaska during 1974. There were no new discoveries. The 4 successful exploratory completions are classified as extensions of existing fields or pools, and all are in the Arctic North Slope region. All 20 development wells drilled were completed successfully with one finding a new gas zone in Kenai gas field.
Geologic-geophysical field activity by industry was up 102% to 168.3 crew-months with all basins, except the Yukon-Kandik, sharing in the increase. Additionally, 41 crew-months of geologic-geophysical field work were undertaken by the U.S. Geological Survey, in part in cooperation with the Alaska Division of Geological and Geophysical Surveys.
Other exploration developments were increased activity on Naval Petroleum Reserve No. 4, and consideration by industry of 4 tests as part of the Continental Offshore Stratigraphic Test program.
Federal acreage under lease decreased 11.4% to 3,925, 150 acres, whereas state acreage under lease increased 18.2% to 4,938,181 acres. Oil production showed a slight decrease and gas production a slight increase for the year.
Continuous state and federal lease sales are needed to increase and sustain the level of exploration activity in Alaska, and announcements of both state and federal sales schedules for the period of 1975-1978 are steps in the right direction. Indications point to a higher level of activity in 1975 in response to these announcements.
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