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This is the 57th consecutive annual report on drilling activity for the United States. Canadian drilling data have been included since 1948; Mexico provided data for the period 1948 to 1980.
For 1982, Canada showed an 8.7% decrease in total wells drilled (6,561 wells) and an 11.9% decrease in the amount of footage drilled (23,737,415 ft). The 166 new-field discoveries represented a success of 51%. Of these discoveries, 157 were in western Canada (23 in Alberta and 105 in Saskatchewan). The new-field and new-pool wildcats accounted for 61.6% of the 1,508 exploratory discoveries. Of the 2,341 exploratory wells drilled, 64.4% were successful.
In the United States, total drilling activity during 1982 increased 9.4% (88,106 wells), and footage drilled increased 9.6% (76,039 mi) compared with 1981. There were 1,402 new-field discoveries, down 1.7% from 1981. The ratio of new-field dry holes to producers was 4.64:1--a success rate of 17.7%, higher than the 1972 to 1981 average rate of 15.7%.
Estimates of ultimate reserves reported discovered in 1982 in the United States showed a decrease in the volumes of both liquids and gases over those discovered in 1981. New fields in 1982 discovered an estimated 651.64 million bbl of oil and condensate and 3.84 tcf of gas. However, 1982 production remains significantly greater than the amount found. One or more fields were announced as discoveries in offshore drilling during 1982. Since reserves are not assigned to a field until the first producing well is drilled, these offshore finds are not included in the 1982 reserve estimates. However, these discoveries have been reported by the operators as large, and undoubtedly they will add significantly to the reserve estimates when the fields are developed.
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