Petroleum: Costs of Drilling are High (OG-05)
Drilling for petroleum is becoming increasingly expensive. In 1980 the national industry average for holes drilled in the lower 48 states was $60 per foot of well depth (cost of well logs, drilling fluids, etc.). The per- foot expense is less for shallow wells than for deeper ones. Wells drilled no deeper than 2,000 feet through rock types that present no unusual difficulties may be completed in 7 to 10 days. If the well is 10,000 feet or more deep, or if there are problems, 2 to 6 months may be spend drilling to total depth. Currently, costs for the U.S. Gulf Coast drilling average $219 per foot. Expenses for an offshore drilling structure with legs that raise or lower exceed $45,000 per day. Semi-submersible rigs that have hulls and float cost nearly $90,000 per day. According to Chase Manhattan Bank, spending for leasing and drilling will climb from 1977s $15 billion to more than $60 billion per year by 1985.

Our Hoosier State Beneath Us: Oil and Gas

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