Exploratory and development drilling decreased 12%, from 799 wells in 1961 to 701 wells in 1962. Ninety-nine new-field wildcats were drilled, resulting in 6 discoveries. This is an increase in wildcat drilling of 39% over 1961 when 71 wildcats were drilled and 14% were successful. The majority of both exploratory and field development wells were drilled in the San Juan basin where proved reserves of oil and gas provide an incentive for exploratory drilling by smaller operators and dependents. Kerr-McGee He extraction plant has provided incentive for increased exploration activity in Arizona. Geophysical activity decreased in both New Mexico and Arizona.

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