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The AAPG/Datapages Combined Publications Database

AAPG Bulletin


Volume: 72 (1988)

Issue: 10B. (October Part B)

First Page: 75

Last Page: 81

Title: Oil and Gas Developments in Louisiana Gulf Coast Onshore in 1987

Author(s): Janice Alsop Ver Hoeve, Walter S. Borowski (2)


The stabilization of oil prices during 1987 failed to halt the decline in exploration and development activity in the Gulf Coast onshore portion of southern Louisiana. Companies continued to limit their exposure in high risk-high cost exploration ventures, preferring to invest money in development or in exploration within well-established trends such as the Miocene and Oligocene. More oil than gas wells were drilled because of the continuing oversupply of natural gas, and only a few wells were drilled to depths exceeding 20,000 ft. As a result of this conservative policy, even fewer new fields were discovered in 1987 than had been found in 1986.

Operators drilled 792 wells in onshore south Louisiana in 1987, a decrease of 20% from 1986 and a fall of 50% from the peak year of 1981. Industry drilled 83 new-field wildcats, 90 other exploratory tests, and 619 development tests. Total footage dropped 13% to 7,520,172 ft, but average footage rose to 9,495 ft/well compared to 8,801 ft/well in 1986. The industry success rate was 59%, with 14 new-field discoveries and 19 significant extensions completed.

Leasing activity in south Louisiana continued to drop as only 260,533 ac were leased. The decrease was a slight 3% in respect to 1986 but a huge 85% compared to the peak year of 1981. The preferred leasing sites were Vermilion, Lafourche, Vernon, Calcasieu, and West Feliciana Parishes.

Seismic acquisition has been decimated since the oil price collapse of 1986. Geophysical activity for 1987 amounted to 281 crew-weeks, a decline of 36% and 84% from 1986 and 1981 levels, respectively. Shooting hot spots were Terrebonne, Vermilion, Jefferson Davis, Cameron, Calcasieu, and St. Martin Parishes.

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