Over-all exploratory activity was down slightly in Montana in 1962; however, the discovery ratio improved. The widespread occurrence of new-field discoveries and an improved success ratio reflect the increased confidence oil men have in the potential of vast unexplored areas of Montana. Eastern Montana is expected to receive high interest and much activity in 1963. The Powder River Basin extension into Montana will continue to receive exploratory attention, commenced in 1961 and 1962.
North Dakota in 1962 experienced a modest increase in exploratory drilling. Wildcat success ratios were only fair, compared with national averages, but the area continues to reflect high development and extension success ratios. The industry-wide attitude of exploratory retrenchment, which affected North Dakota in 1961, continued to prevail in 1962. Developments in 1963 are expected to follow the same general pattern as in 1962, with some improvement expected as a result of better marketing economics in some areas.
For the second successive year South Dakota failed to register a wildcat exploratory success. However, there is a sustained exploratory interest in South Dakota, as indicated by continued leasing and sporadic exploratory drilling.