Development paper District 20 includes Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Drilling activity increased in each of these states during 1981. Overall, 11,014 wells were reported as completed, up 54.3% from the previous year. Footage drilled, 36,492,626 ft, was up 48.9%. The production of both oil and gas increased along with the increase in drilling activity. Total gas production for the district (433,798,117 mcf), increased 8.3%, and oil production (20,090,456 bbl) increased 10.3%.
In Maryland, a deeper pool test in Mountain Lake Park field was completed as a dry hole at a depth of 7,845 ft in the Ordovician Juniata Formation. Only 2 other completions were reported, both were gas storage wells in Accident field. Total footage drilled in the 3 wells was 23,572 ft. Natural gas production from the 3 fields in Garrett County during 1981 was 56,360 mcf, a decrease of 17.5% from 1980 production. The state developed a set of regulations governing the leasing of state lands during 1981. Both the final regulations and the first state lease sale(s) are anticipated in 1982.
Drilling operations in Ohio increased 64.2% in 1981, the most active year on record. The previous record was set in 1909 when 3,591 well completions were reported. Of the 5,425 new wells drilled during 1981, 1,256 were gas wells, 394 were oil wells, 3,419 were combination oil and gas, and 356 were dry holes, a success rate of 93.4%. A total of 281 exploratory wells (up 32.5% from last year) was included. The most active target was the Lower Silurian Clinton-Medina sandstone with 3,894 wells, 3,681 of which were successful (94.5%). An additional 653 wells were drilled to the Berea Sandstone, of which 602 were productive (92.2%). The total new footage drilled was 19,637,731 ft, an increase of 56.6% from 1980. Oil production for the year was 13,551,354 bbl, an increase of 4.8%, and gas production was 141,134,310 mcf, up 1.6%.
Pennsylvania’s drilling activity increased significantly (75.9%) in 1981 compared with 1980. There were 3,554 wells reported during the year, of which 1,641 were oil wells, 1,677 were gas wells, 16 were combination oil and gas wells, 131 were service wells, and 89 were dry holes, for a success rate of 97.4%. Approximately 9,000 permits were issued during the year, indicating that the actual number of wells drilled should be closer to 6,500. Exploratory wells numbered 405, an increase of 206.8%. Of these, 381 were productive, a success rate of 94.1%. The total new footage drilled in 1981 was 9,007,308 ft, an increase of 64.9%. Oil production (3,729,214 bbl), increased 26.8%, and gas production (122,454,000 mcf) increased 25.6%.
Drilling activity in Virginia increased 20.0% during 1981 with 30 new wells drilled. Of these, 24 were completed as producers and 6 were dry holes, a success rate of 80.0%. Exploratory drilling was unsuccessful, as 2 wells drilled were dry holes, whereas 24 of 28 development wells (85.7%) were successful. Of these wells, 21 were completed as gas wells in the Mississippian Ravencliff, Injun, and Berea sandstones, the Greenbrier Limestone, and the Devonian shales. The remaining 3 development wells were completed with oil production in the Middle Ordovician Trenton Limestone. Total footage drilled amounted to 144,660 ft, an increase of 45.5% over the previous year. Development drilling averaged 4,584 ft per well, and exploratory footage averaged 8,154 ft per well. Production of natural gas in Virginia totaled 8,902,447 mcf from 288 wells operated by 11 companies in 6 counties, an increase of 13.9%. Crude oil production increased considerably (39.2%) during 1981 with a total of 13,244 bbl produced from 12 wells operated by 6 companies in the Ben Hur and Rose Hill fields, Lee County.
Total well completions in West Virginia increased 15.2% from 1980, with 2,002 wells reported in 1981. Exploratory completions were up 97.9% with the more active programs again aimed at Upper Devonian Chemung and Brallier targets in north-central West Virginia, or toward the Devonian shale oil play along the Ohio River. Deep drilling decreased slightly although deep permits issued increased. Belington was the most active gas field and St. Marys was the most active oil field. Total footage drilled was 7,538,378 ft, up 19.9%. An additional 140,977 ft were drilled in 64 wells for gas storage or water injection for enhanced oil recovery. Oil production (2,796,644 bbl) increased 19.7%, and gas production (161,251,000 mcf) increased 3.0%.