Thirty-eight parishes are included in the south Louisiana onshore district covered by this report. During 1980, a total of 1,390 wells were drilled in onshore south Louisiana, with a total footage of 15,706,832. Of this total, wildcat wells numbered 269, exploratory wells numbered 232, and development wells numbered 889. On a percentage basis, 7% of all wildcat wells, 39% of all exploratory wells, and 59% of all development wells were successful completions. Wildcat drilling activity resulted in 19 new field discoveries during 1980, a decrease of 2 discoveries from the 1979 total of 21. Throughout the year, interest in the Tuscaloosa trend continued to dominate exploratory activity, resulting in 6 new field discoveries. Activity was also brisk in the Miocene trend, with a total of 50 successful extensions and new discovery wells.

Total onshore leasing activity increased for the first time since 1976. Leasing in the district during 1980 amounted to 1,491,621 ac. This was a 51% increase over the 989,630 ac leased during 1979. Avoyelles, Tangipahoa, St. Helena, Terrebonne, and St. Landry parishes recorded the highest levels of leasing activity during the year.

Geophysical activity in the Louisiana Gulf Coast onshore district increased for the eighth consecutive year. During 1980, the total geophysical activity amounted to 1,656 crew weeks, marking an increase of 331 crew weeks over the 1979 total of 1,325 crew weeks. The highest levels of geophysical activity were recorded in Cameron, Vermilion, Terrebonne, Tangipahoa, and St. Tammany parishes. The current high level of exploration activity in south Louisiana is expected to continue for the next several years.

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