In all, 1,672 wells were drilled in West Texas in 1944, which is the greatest number drilled in any year since 1941. There were 203 exploratory wells completed in 1944, of which 42 were producers, representing a discovery success of 20.69 per cent. These 42 producers resulted in the discovery of 14 new fields officially designated as such by the Oil and Gas Division of the Texas Railroad Commission, and of at least three others assigned by the Commission to existing producing fields. Two new producing zones, one in the Wolfcamp and one in the Devonian, were established, and new pay zones of major importance were discovered in 3 existing fields, including the development of production in the upper San Andres and McKnight zones in the Sand Hills field, Crane County, and the discovery of Ellenburger oil in the Todd field, Crockett County. Major extensions were made to 12 existing fields.

Of the 203 wildcats drilled during the year in West Texas, the 83 of outstanding importance included 9 drilled to the pre-Cambrian and 20 which tested the Ellenburger.

Pipe-line runs from West Texas were 160,780,000 barrels, or 62,710,000 more than in 1943, while in New Mexico total runs of 29,030,000 barrels exceeded those of 1943 by 560,000 barrels.

In southeastern New Mexico 405 wells were drilled in 1944, of which 60 were exploratory, and of these, 13 or 21.6 per cent, were producers. Of 9 new producing areas only 4 are of major importance, and include the development for the first time of pre-San Andres production in southeastern New Mexico. New zones discovered include Yeso production in the Drinkard field, and Wolfcamp production in the Skaggs-Deep field, of Lea County, and the establishment of Ellenburger production in the Dublin field, of southeastern Lea County. Probably the most important discovery from the viewpoint of reserves was the West Lovington field, in Lea County.

Geophysical activity increased slightly during the year in both West Texas and southeastern New Mexico. In West Texas the number of crews of all types increased from 43 in January, to 46 in December. In southeastern New Mexico 7 crews were working in January, and 13 in December. Seismographs and gravimeters predominated in both areas throughout the year. Twelve geological and development publications appeared during 1944, in one of which a member of the Salado formation was described, and the name “Vaca Triste” proposed for it.

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