In 1961, 799 wells were drilled in the Arizona and western New Mexico district. This represents an increase of 9.6% from the 1960 total of 729 wells. Exploratory drilling, however, was somewhat less with 101 exploratory wells for 1961 as compared with 129 for 1960, showing a 21% decrease. However, the 71 new-field wildcats for 1961 with a success of 14% compared favorably with the 68 new-field wildcats drilled in 1960 for a success of 14.7%. The majority of the drilling was confined to the San Juan basin, where large reserves of gas and oil have been established in the Cretaceous sandstone sediments. Subsurface work is still the primary tool for exploration and exploitation development in the area. Future exploration will be directed toward further Cretaceous evaluation in the San Juan basin, the Paleozoic rocks in the Black Mesa basin, and possibly the thick Mesozoic and Paleozoic sections in southern Arizona and New Mexico.

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