In 1979, an estimated 623 wells were completed in New York. In existing fields, 172 oil and 370 gas wells were completed.
Exploratory drilling resulted in 12 new gas-field discoveries, 1 deeper pool gas discovery, and 27 extensions to existing gas fields. Two discoveries were in the Lower Devonian Oriskany Sandstone, one along the Oriskany pinch-out and the other on a structure. One discovery in the far western part of the state found gas in the Silurian Medina Sandstone and also in the shallow Upper Devonian Glade sandstone. The deeper pool discovery is in the Medina Sandstone in the shallow Busti oil field. All of the remaining discoveries and extensions were in the Medina Sandstone in western New York. Three dry Cambrian-Precambrian tests were drilled in the western part of the state.
Oil production in 1979 was 854,604 bbl and gas production amounted to 15,500 MMcf. The price for New York stripper crude increased substantially during 1979, rising from $14.77/bbl to $38.00/bbl on 1/1/80. Gas prices ranged up to $2.17/Mcf.
During 1979, 6 companies accomplished 70 crew-weeks of reflection seismic work in New York.
Leasing continued in areas of possible Medina and Queenston gas production in western and central New York.
Columbia Gas Project Penny will stimulate drilling for Medina gas production in western New York. A successful Devonian black shale gas test was drilled in 1979 and will be completed in 1980. Several additional Devonian black shale tests are planned. Several exploratory wells are planned for central New York. Leasing and drilling in the New York part of Lake Erie are still delayed until completion of a federal environmental impact study.