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ABSTRACT: Exploration Trends in Louisiana

MILLER, M. BYRON , Basin Research Institute, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA

With the current corporate emphasis on acquisitions, mergers and downsizing, explorationists often have little opportunity to examine exploration activity on trend or to consider the overall significance of exploratory developments. A review of exploration activity in the state of Louisiana is provided.

A comparison of new well permits, drilling and completion rates reveals a shift in exploration interest among producing trends. Statewide, the number of wildcat wells permitted has decreased over the past 3 years from 142 wells in 1997 to 106 wells in 1999. The Austin Chalk trend suffered the largest decline over this period with 42 wildcats permitted in 1997, 6 in 1998 and 0 in 1999. The Wilcox trend showed a substantial decrease with 27 wildcats permitted in 1997, 17 in 1998 and 12 in 1999.

The shallow Frio trend showed the greatest increase in permitted wildcats with 26 wells permitted in 1999 versus 1 well in 1998 and 2 wells in 1997. The Hackberry trend showed continued strong interest with 10 wildcats permitted in 1999 versus 16 wells in 1998 and 10 wells in 1997.

Operators permitting the most wildcat wells in 1999 are: Maoco, Inc. (22 wells, shallow Frio trend, Avoyelles Ph.); LLOG Exploration (8 wells, Cib Carst section, Main Pass and Breton Sound Areas); HS Resources (6 wells, Hackberry trend, Beauregard Jefferson Davis Ph.).


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90908©2000 GCAGS, Houston, Texas