7,034 wells were drilled in west Texas and eastern New Mexico in 1983, 17.2% less than in 1982. The success rate for all wells was 79.8%, up 1.1% from 1982. The exploratory success rate decreased to 25.4% in 1983 from 26.4% in 1982. The number of exploratory wells drilled in 1983 decreased 27.1% from 1982, and total exploratory footage decreased 30.1%. The severe decline in exploratory drilling during 1983 was anticipated because seismic crew activity had declined during the 2 preceding years. However, 1983 seismic activity increased 2.1% from 1982, reversing the trend. Therefore, because seismic crew activity is usually a reliable leading indicator of trends in exploratory drilling, an increase in Permian basin wildcat drilling is predicted for mid-1985. In 1983, the number of development wells drilled decreased 15.2% from 1982, and total development footage decreased 17.6%. Development success increased by 0.1% to 89.2%. Oil production for 1983 was 550,473,920 bbl, down 1.7% from 1982. Gas production was 1,995,555,963 mcf, down 9.5% from 1982. Overall leasing activity decreased in 1983. The land sales of New Mexico and the University of Texas received only a fraction of the attention normally paid to them. However, leasing was very aggressive in Glasscock, Midland, and Hockley Counties, Texas, of the Midland basin.

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