Total drilling activity in Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Georgia, including both exploratory and development wells, increased 22.3% from 861 wells in 1984 to 1,053 wells in 1985. Exploratory drilling in 1985 in the southeastern states increased 12.6%. Of the 410 exploratory tests in 1985, 82 were successful, for a 20.0% success rate. This compares to 1984’s 55 successful completions of 364 tests, a 15.1% success rate.

The Paleozoic trend of northeastern Mississippi and northwestern Alabama accounted for 32.0% of the exploratory tests. This active trend had 24 new-field discoveries in 1985 compared to 18 new-field discoveries in 1984. The shallow Eocene Wilcox trend in southwestern Mississippi had 12 new-field discoveries in 1985 compared with 7 in 1984, and represented 23.2% of the exploratory activity. The Jurassic trend, with 17.8% of the total exploratory effort, had 14 new-field discoveries in 1985 compared to 6 new-field discoveries in 1984. The Upper Cretaceous, Lower Cretaceous, and Miocene trends accounted, respectively, for 17.6%, 6.1%, and 3.4% of the total exploratory tests. Ten new-field discoveries were reported in the Upper Cretaceous, 7 in the Lower Cretaceous, and 3 in the Miocene.

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