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Circular 50—Petroleum developments in New Mexico during 1957

By R. W. Foster and R. A. Bieberman, 1958, 27 pp., 10 figs.

Also in this series are Circulars 48, 52, 72, and 96. The production of crude oil and natural gas continued to set new yearly records in NM. Total production of crude oil and distillate in 1957 was 94,627,805 barrels, an increase of 6,707,316 barrels over 1956. Natural gas produced amounted to 728,645,000,000 ft3, more than 100 billion ft3 higher than in 1956. NM ranks 7th in oil, and 3rd in natural gas production in the U.S. A total of 2,227 wells were drilled during the year, a slight increase over 1956. Wildcat exploration accounted for most of the gain, particularly in the San Juan Basin, where more than 200 wildcat wells were drilled. Drilling activity in the nonproducing counties declined from 34 wells in 1956 to 15 in 1957.

In 1957, the production of oil and gas reached an all-time high in NM, with over 90 million barrels of crude oil and distillate, and over 700 billion ft3 of gas, produced. Since 1950, the production of crude oil has almost doubled; during the same period, natural gas production has more than tripled.

In addition to the setting of production records, a new high in well completions was established in 1957. Compared with 1956, there was a 3% increase in development and a 20% increase in the number of wildcat well drilled. More than half the wildcat wells were located in Rio Arriba and San Juan Counties, where testing of the Gallup Sandstone greatly expanded the boundaries of the Bisti Field. Elsewhere in the state, interest was centered in deep exploration in Lea and Eddy Counties and important new discoveries in Roosevelt County.

This report is a summary of production and drilling statistics for NM during 1957. In addition to state and regional summaries, a discussion of the developments in each county is included, along with some historical data for those counties in which there was no drilling activity during the year. In the eight counties from which there was some oil or gas production, the status of each well drilled has been computed on the basis of its proximity to other producing wells of located within 1 mi of a producing well of field that test rocks of the same geologic period or formation as the producing well or field are considered development or field wells. Wells spudded more than a mile from production, or that tested rocks previously nonproductive for a distance of at least 1 mi, are considered wildcats.

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