Exploratory drilling in the Atlantic coastal plain region declined slightly in 1983. Four wells were spudded during the year: 2 in the offshore Baltimore Canyon area and 2 onshore in Lee County, North Carolina. One North Carolina well was drilled, and the other was being tested at year end. In April, 4,050 tracts were offered in the mid-Atlantic lease offering (OCS Sale 76), the first area-wide offering of offshore oil and gas leases under the Department of the Interior’s new streamlined leasing system. Bids of $86,822,680 were exposed on 40 tracts, and 37 tracts were subsequently leased. In July, 3,082 tracts were offered in the south Atlantic lease offering (OCS Sale 78). Bids of $14,562,040 were exposed on 11 tracts, and all high bids were accepted. Seismic data acquisition decreased 64% below the 1982 level to 13,166 line-mi (21,189 line-km).

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