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Wells drilled in the Upper Gulf Coast of Texas during 1983 totaled 1,979, down 23% from the 1982 total of 2,581. Onshore exploratory drilling continued to decrease, with 426 wildcat wells drilled compared to 505 wells in 1982 and 581 in 1981. Development drilling accounted for 77% of all onshore wells, virtually unchanged from the previous 3 years, but the 1,422 wells drilled was 25% fewer than in 1982.
There were 58 new-field discoveries in 1983 with an average depth of 10,393 ft and a success rate of 22%. The 119 other exploratory discoveries in 1983 had a success rate of 73%. The Oligocene trend was the most active, with 43.9% of the wildcat drilling, followed by the Eocene trend.
Offshore exploratory drilling slipped from 42 new-field wildcats in 1982 to 38 completed wildcats in 1983. Four new fields were discovered and 2 were extended. Average depth of an offshore exploratory well was 10,250 ft. With 61 wells listed as "suspended operations" at year end, the success rate of offshore exploratory wells could increase sharply.
Onshore geophysical activity increased slightly in 1983 to 894 crew-weeks. Offshore activity hit an all-time high for the second year in a row with 288½ crew-weeks.
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