Twenty-three exploratory wells were drilled in Alaska in 1979. Six apparent oil discovery wells were drilled on the North Slope and 3 gas discoveries were made in the Cook Inlet basin. Four wells drilled in the Lower Cook Inlet OCS area were dry. Eighty-four development and service wells were drilled and successfully completed.
Geologic-geophysical field activity by industry and government consisted of 77.95 crew-months, a decrease of 19%, compared to 1978. This decrease affected most of the major basins of the state except the Cook Inlet basin which had a 90% increase from the previous year.
Federal acreage under lease decreased more than 30%, and state lease acreage declined slightly. Oil production showed an increase of 14% as the Prudhoe Bay field reached its potential. Gas production showed an increase of over 20%.
The first joint Federal/State OCS lease sale was held in the Beaufort Sea and the first state sale of a 5-year leasing schedule was held. The federal land situation remains unresolved until the 17 (d) (2) question is decided by Congress.