Wells drilled totaled 2,502, up 37% from the 1980 total of 1,826. Onshore development drilling accounted for 76% of the total with 1,910 wells, a 36% increase over the previous year. Onshore exploratory drilling also had a 37% increase, with 581 wildcats drilled in 1981 compared with 420 wildcats drilled in 1980. There were 65 successful new-field discoveries in 1981 with an average depth of 10,549 ft and a success rate of 19.6%. Offshore, exploratory drilling decreased dramatically by 54% with only 42 wells drilled compared with 90 the previous year. Offshore development drilling increased 27% in 1981 with 88 wells drilled compared with 64 in 1980.--Modified journal abstract.

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