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In 1982, reported completions totaled 1,436 exploratory and 3,668 development wells in south Texas Railroad Commission Districts 1, 2, and 4. For the adjacent offshore, completions totaled 46 exploratory and 19 development wells. Average depths for these wells were: District 1, 3,246 ft; District 2, 6,926 ft; District 4, 7,711 ft; and offshore, 9,802 ft.
Of 63 onshore Miocene exploratory tests drilled in 1982, 40 (63%) were successful, but only 2 opened new fields.
The Oligocene Frio and Vicksburg trends received 474 and 119 onshore exploratory tests. There were 33 new-field discoveries among the successful 56% of Frio wells drilled. Vicksburg drilling had a 58% success rate and found 7 new fields.
Exploratory drilling for Eocene objectives totaled 455 wells. Five new-field discoveries in Jackson Group sands and 9 in Yegua and Queen City (Claiborne Group) sands came from totals of 46 and 106 wells drilled; 54% and 44% of these efforts were successful. South Texas' biggest reserves additions were contributed by gas reservoirs found along the deep Wilcox flexure trend. Successful Wilcox tests totaled 163 (54%) of the 303 attempted.
A total of 272 wells sought Cretaceous objectives. Tight Olmos (Upper Cretaceous) sands overlying the Edwards reef in McMullen County flowed oil at significant rates after fracturing in the AWP field. This discovery and subsequent activity highlighted 1982 south Texas exploration.
Drilling for fractured carbonates of the Austin Chalk trend receded to a still active level of 95 exploratory wells in 1982. Another 76 wells, primarily Austin Chalk tests, bottomed in Lower Cretaceous strata. Despite some reported strong initial oil flows and 8 new fields, success for these 171 wells was only 20%.
Two deep Jurassic Smackover tests marked the year's contribution to the slow but steady advance made on the area's most significant frontier. Among the rank wildcats were 3 Paleozoic Ouachita thrust belt tests. Another 16 wells also had Paleozoic objectives; 2 were minor new-field discoveries and 3 more found new reservoirs.
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