This is the 48th consecutive annual report on drilling activity for the United States. Canadian drilling data have been included with these annual reports since 1948; Mexico provided data for the period 1948-1980.

For 1983, Canada showed an 8.1% increase in total wells drilled (7,095 wells) and a 12.9% increase in the amount of footage drilled (26,790,009 ft). The 93 new-field wildcat discoveries represented a success of 39.6%. Of these discoveries, 90 were in western Canada (27 in Alberta and 39 in Saskatchewan). New-field and new-pool wildcats accounted for 52.8% of the 1,236 exploratory discoveries. In Canada, 61% of the 2,041 exploratory wells drilled were successful.

In the United States, total drilling activity during 1983 decreased 10.9% (78,542 wells) and footage drilled decreased 17.6% (62,656 mi) compared with 1982. There were 1,138 new-field discoveries—an 18.0% decrease from 1982. The ratio of new-field dry holes to producers was 4.70:1, and the success rate was 17.5%.

Estimates of ultimate reserves reported as discovered in 1983 in the United States are being reviewed by the Committee on Statistics of Drilling. Results of this study will be published in a later issue of the Bulletin.

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