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U.S. WELL COMPLETIONS UP 8.3 PERCENTTHROUGH MID-YEAR, PETROLEUM INFORMATION REPORTS

 HOUSTON, July 9 /PRNewswire/ -- A flurry of completions stemming from Section 29 tax credits for tight gas sands production and a second quarter rally in U.S. rotary rig employment saw the nation's count of well completions in the first half of 1993 climb ahead of year-ago levels.
 According to Petroleum Information Corp., a total of 7,869 wells were drilled for oil and gas in the United States during the first six months of the year, an increase of 8.3 percent from the 7,269 wells reported complete in the first half of 1992.
 Natural gas dominated domestic completion activity in the first two quarters, as industry operators responded not only to stronger gas prices but completed a large number of wells qualifying for the now- expired Section 29 tax credits. By the close of June, 2,874 gas wells had been completed nationwide, up a sharp 55.9 percent from 1,844 gas completions a year earlier.
 Domestic oil well completions, by contrast, dampened by soft crude prices, tailed off to 2,608 during the first six months of 1993, down 13.6 percent from the 3,019 oil wells completed in the first half of 1992.
 The pace of exploration in the United States continued in check during the first half, with exploratory completions falling 10.4 percent, from 1,355 a year earlier to 1,214. The number of gas discoveries, however, increased 20.7 percent, from 145 to 175, while the count of new oil discoveries dropped 12.7 percent, to 179 from 205.
 Spurred in part by aggressive tight gas sands completion programs in Alabama, Michigan, New Mexico and South Texas, the volume of development drilling in the United States rose 12.5 percent during the first six months, with 6,655 field completions reported compared to 5,914 a year ago. Development gas completions jumped 58.9 percent through the first half, from 1,699 to 2,699, while the number of infill oil wells reported complete eroded 13.7 percent, to 2,429 from 2,814.
 Established in 1928, Petroleum Information Corp. (PI) is the world's largest oil and gas information management company, with offices throughout the United States as well as in South America, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. PI offers reporting services, data and data analysis services, seismic data and training, maps, land and lease data, and a variety of other exploration and production services to the petroleum and related industries. Petroleum Information is also the official supplier of U.S. well completion statistics to the American Petroleum Institute.
 -0- 7/9/93
 /CONTACT: Tom Cheney or Dana Cain of Corporate Communications of Petroleum Information Corp., 303-740-7100/


CO: Petroleum Information Corp. ST: Colorado IN: OIL SU:

LS-JN -- LA018 -- 9927 07/09/93 12:55 EDT
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Date:Jul 9, 1993
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