The year 1957 was the most active in the history of the Arizona and western New Mexico area. In all, 988 holes were drilled, an 11% increase over 1956. New-field and new-pool wildcatting did not result in any major discoveries. The success ratio for discoveries of all types was 6.7%. The success ratio for field and pool extensions was 67.5%.
Exploration in the San Juan basin continued to be directed toward stratigraphic traps in sandstone lenses of the Upper Cretaceous formations. The Paleozoic rocks of western New Mexico and eastern Arizona drew preliminary attention with sharp competitive leasing on the Indian reservation and filing for federal leases where available.
Subsurface mapping was the primary exploratory tool in the San Juan basin, with seismic and surface mapping dominating the Black Mesa basin and Four Corners platform of New Mexico and Arizona.
There was a 78% increase in oil production and 55% increase in gas production over 1956.