Abstract

The total number of wells drilled in West Virginia in 1961, reported to Apr. 1, 1962, was 1389, an increase of 173, or 14.23%. Permits to drill or deepen issued by the Oil and Gas Division of The West Virginia Department of Mines totaled 1532, an increase of 183, or 13.57%. Ninety-four permits to drill were canceled during the year. Abandoned during the year were 117 gas wells and 114 oil wells, or a total of 231 wells. These abandonments are all wells drilled before permits were required (May 1929). No information as to the exact number of abandonments of wells drilled since May 1929 is available as these wells are abandoned under original drilling permit numbers. Wells completed were: gas, 809; oil, 59; oil and gas wells, 296; storage, water-injection, brine, rock salt, and pressure wells, 65; dry holes, 160; total, 1389. Compared with 1960, gas wells increased 15, or 1.89%; oil wells increased 10, or 2.04%; oil and gas wells increased 112, or 61.54%; storage and other wells increased 16, or 32.65%; dry holes increased 18, or 12.68%, the percentage of dry holes to total completions being 11.52%. Depth of wells ranged from 250 to 10,805 ft., compared with 370 to 13,121 in 1960. Total footage drilled was 3,447,723 ft., an increase of 538,906 ft., or 18.53% over 1960 (2,908,817 ft.). The average depth of wells (2482 ft.) increased 90 ft. over the 1960 average (2392 ft.), or 3.76%. The total initial daily open flow of the gas wells was 1,271,312 MCF, an increase of 287,890 MCF, or 29.27% over the 1960 total (983,422 MCF). The size of the gas wells ranged from 5 to 20,850 MCF compared with 10 to 28,400 MCF in 1960. The total daily initial oil was 9478 1/2 bbls., an increase of 5361 bbls. over 1960 (4117 1/2 bbls.) or 130.20%. The size of the oil wells ranged from 1/2 to 400 bbls., compared with 1/2 to 300 bbls. in 1960. The number of wells drilling or unreported if completed at the end of the year was 656, 127 more than in 1960, or an increase of 24.01%. Since we receive drilling and scout reports from several major companies the status of practically every drilling well was known. Only 150 letters were sent to the operators whose wells were at completion depth or testing after fracture - replies were received from about one-third of the operators. It is believed that total completions will be greater than herein reported as also the production since many wells were reported as testing after fracture. The total initial gas production after fracture is generally several times the production before fracture. Several hundred wells were fractured during the year. The West Virginia University collects information concerning fracturing of wells and issues an annual report showing details for each of the wells fractured. The average size of gas wells was 1328 MCF compared with 1111 MCF in 1960, an increase of 217 MCF or 19.53%. In calculating this average the number of gas wells was increased by half of the number of oil and gas wells (148) or 957 wells. The average size of the oil wells was 45.8 bbls. compared with 29 bbls. in 1960, an increase of 16.8 bbls., or 57.93%. One-half the oil and gas wells (148) was added to the 59 oil wells (or a total of 207) in calculating this average. Preliminary estimates of production for 1961: gas, 248,400,000 MCF, compared with 207,000,000 MCF in 1960; an increase of 41,400,000 MCF or 20%; oil, 2,760,000 bbls., an increase of 460,000 bbls. over the 1960 estimate (2,300,000 bbls.) or 20%. The estimated number of producing wells at the end of 1961: gas, 17,325; oil, 12,762. The table of operations gives statistics by counties.

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