Onshore drilling in the upper Gulf Coast of Texas in 1986 was down 52.2% from 1985. Onshore exploratory drilling was down 46.3%, and development drilling was down 53.7%. Offshore drilling was down 22.0% from 1985. Offshore exploratory drilling was down 34.1%, but development drilling was down only 13.6%. The Eocene and Oligocene trends were the most active in the onshore area. The Miocene was the most active offshore trend.
Onshore seismic activity was down 12.7% from 1985. The Eocene trend had more than half of the seismic activity in the onshore. Offshore seismic activity was down 31.7% from 1985. More than half of the offshore activity was conducted in the High Island area. Although the onshore rig count dropped 58% during 1986 and spot gas prices fell by 48%, signs of stabilization in gas prices could set the stage for future improvements in industry activity.