In 1977, 538 wells were completed in New York. In known oil and gas fields, 119 oil and 243 gas wells were completed. Gas well completions were down 20% from 1976 because of a lack of pipeline capacity in the far southwestern part of the state.
Exploratory drilling resulted in 5 new gas field discoveries and 8 extensions. Four of the discoveries are in the Silurian Medina sandstone in the western part of the state. The other discovery is in the Devonian Oriskany Sandstone in west-central New York. Six of the extensions are to Medina gas fields in western New York; 1 extension is to an Ordovician Trenton gas field in north-central New York and the other is an extension to an old, shallow Upper Devonian sandstone oil and gas pool in western New York. Two deeper pool tests were drilled to test Middle Ordovician and Upper Cambrian objectives but found no deep production. The COST G-2 stratigraphic test was drilled in the Georges Bank area off Massachusetts to a TD of 21,874 ft.
Oil production in 1977 was 813,313 bbl and gas production amounted to 10,363 MMcf. The price for New York stripper crude was raised from $13.82 to $14.77/bbl during 1977. The price for new, intrastate, gas in 1977 was $1.33/Mcf summer and $1.73/Mcf winter.
During 1977, 64 crew-weeks of reflection seismograph work were accomplished in New York; 15 weeks of this was marine seismic work in the New York part of Lake Erie.
Leasing continued in areas of possible Medina and Queenston gas production in western and central New York; 15 state reforestation tracts totaling 19,239 acres were leased at an average price of $14.73/acre during 1977.
Exploration and development in Medina and Queenston gas-producing areas will continue. Studies of Devonian black shales indicate that they may have some potential for future gas production in selected areas. Drilling for gas in the New York part of Lake Erie was approved by the legislature and a bill signed into law by the governor in 1977. Plans for implementing the law are now under way.