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Uncertainty of increased taxation of petroleum revenues proposed under the Canadian national energy program effected a minor slowdown of the rapid exploration in 1980. Total numbers of wells drilled in eastern Canada were: Ontario, 224; Quebec, 3; Nova Scotia, 1; and the Atlantic offshore, 13. Much of the Ontario drilling, 123 wells, was for development purposes. The success ratio on exploratory drilling in Ontario was 34.7, while all Quebec and Nova Scotia wells were dry.
Production of oil and gas declined by 16.8% and 18.5% in New Brunswick. Oil production in Ontario increased by 1.2%. The increase in gas production of 14.3% to almost 443,535.5 × 103 m3 was due almost entirely to development of known fields underlying Lake Erie.
The exploration of offshore eastern Canada continued at a stable rate, with 12 wells completed. Of these, 2 were in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 3 on the Grand Banks, 6 on the Labrador Shelf, and 1 in Davis Strait. All wells were abandoned or suspended at year end, although discoveries of hydrocarbon were made in Davis Strait and the Grand Banks. The early exploration stage, combined with record water depths, prevented any of these wells from being put into production, although testing will be continued on the most promising shows.
Seismic exploration increased to approximately 30,000 km in the Atlantic offshore aeas. In addition, 1,420.94 km was shot in Lake Erie. Onshore seismic exploration accounted for 1,078.67 km in Ontario, 350 km in Nova Scotia and 242.76 km in Quebec.
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