As expected, 1987 was a bad year for the oil and gas industry. In west Texas and eastern New Mexico, 3,152 wells were drilled, an 18.1% decrease from 1986. The success rate for all wells was 76.0%, an increase from 1986 but still lower than the 79.9% success rate in 1985. The number of exploratory wells drilled was down 30.8% from 1986, and total exploratory footage was down 32.8%. The success rate for exploratory drilling increased from 19.6% in 1986 to 21.2% in 1987. Development activity decreased 14.8% in 1987, and development footage also decreased 17.0%. Seismic crew activity decreased markedly, down 25.0% from 1986. Oil production for 1987 was 492,530,106 bbl, down 6.2% from 1986, whereas gas production was up 3.5% to 1,874,323 mmcf. Leasing activity showed an increase in terms of acres leased as well as bonuses paid. Acreage leased was up 67.0%, and total bonuses paid were up 72.0%. Although this translates to a very moderate increase in bonus paid per acre of only 3%, this is the first increase in 6 years.

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