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There were 2,412 wells drilled in the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas during 1982, a slight decrease (4%) from the 1981 total of 2,502. Onshore exploratory drilling decreased 14%, with 505 wildcats drilled in 1982 compared with 581 in 1981. Development drilling accounted for 79% of the total, with the 1,907 wells drilled in 1982 showing little change from the 1,918 development wells drilled in 1981.
There were 55 new-field discoveries completed in 1982 with an average depth of 9,431 ft and a success rate of 18.5%. There were 134 other wildcat discoveries in 1982 with an average depth of 9,475 ft and a success rate of 64.7%. The Oligocene trend remained the most active, with 40.6% of the wildcats, followed by the Eocene trend with 34.6%. Most of the significant new-field discoveries were made in the Oligocene Frio and Eocene Wilcox Formations.
After a 6-year low in offshore exploratory drilling in 1981 (42 wildcats), 1982 saw a solid rebound with 70 exploratory wells drilled. However, the success rate for new-field wildcats continued to fall (to 3.6%).
Onshore geophysical activity hit a 4-year low in 1982 with only 872 crew-weeks worked. Offshore geophysical activity hit an all-time high in 1982 with 225 crew-weeks worked, probably in response to the 1983 expanded federal OCS sales.
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