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Western Canada recorded a decrease of exploratory and development activity during 1974, resulting from changing economic and political conditions affecting the industry. A total of 4,070 exploratory and development wells was drilled, a decrease of 525 from 1973. Exploratory drilling decreased 22.6% and development drilling by 1.7%.
There were 106 oil and 514 gas wells classified as discoveries for an exploratory success ratio of 38.1%; 629 development wells were completed as oil producers and 1,388 as gas producers for a development success ration of 84%.
In Alberta the aggressive exploration and development play for shallow Cretaceous gas continued, and there was increasing interest in the deeper parts of the Alberta basin and in the Foothills disturbed belt, where at least 7 significant gas discoveries were made. Saskatchewan recorded a drastic decrease of 54.4% in exploratory drilling, and British Columbia had a decline of 14%.
Exploratory drilling continued at a high level in the Arctic Islands and the Mackenzie delta. In the Mackenzie delta 4 significant oil and gas discoveries were made.
Geophysical activity continued to decline slowly in Alberta and adjacent provinces, but continued strongly in the Territories and Arctic Islands.
Production of liquid hydrocarbons was down by 6% from the previous year, largely because of the decrease of exports to the United States. The production of natural gas continued at a peak rate--up 3.1% from 1973.
Proved reserves of crude oil continued to decline because of a lack of major discoveries. Natural gas liquid reserves increased slightly because of the addition of 32 million bbl of Mackenzie delta reserves. Natural gas reserves, after production, increased 8.1% as a result of the gas exploration program in Alberta, where reserves increased by 4%, and by the addition of 4 Tcf of proved reserves in the Mackenzie delta.
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