Production - Domestic - Oil and Gas Developments in New York during 1941

Hartinagel, C. A.
Organization: The American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical, and Petroleum Engineers
Pages: 3
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1942
During 1941, the total production of crude oil in New York state was 5,185,000 bbl. This represents a small increase over the average for the past five years. From 1921, when the annual production of the state amounted to only 988,000 bbl., there was a regular annual increase in production (excepting one or two years) until the 5,000,000-bbl. mark was reached in 1937, After more than 20 years of oil recovery by flooding methods, it was generally believed, until a few months ago, that the rate of production was nearly at its peak and within a few years the fields would experience a gradual decline as the thicker sands became exhausted and the thinner ones could be worked only at increasing costs. As a result of the present emergency, however, unusual efforts are being made, in spite of higher costs of operation, to increase the output of Pennsylvania grade oil, to which the New York product belongs. Since most of any increased production would be obtained by flooding, and since floods travel slowly, no large increase in production can be expected for some months to come. During the first year, 10 or 15 per cent increase could be obtained, but maximum production, an increase of perhaps 40 per cent, could not be expected until some time during the second or third year. In the Allegany fields, which account for two thirds of the state's oil production, 1246 wells, including water-intake wells, were drilled during the year; 390 more than in the preceding year and 590 more than in 1939. It is evident that much of the best oil territory has already been developed. As producers move toward edge properties and thinner sands, returns will be smaller, whereas costs remain the same or, under war conditions, become higher. It is estimated that at least 60 million barrels of oil is in sight and will be produced from the thicker sands by present recovery methods. In the thinner sands and edge properties, some 35 million additional barrels can be produced at a profit only if prices become higher. In view of the fact that there is little hope of finding new oil pools in New York, one of the future problems of the oil producer will be to obtain adequate returns for increased production costs. The year started with a posted price of $2.15 per barrel of crude. There were five successive price increases until the high of the year was reached at $2.98 on Aug. 14. Eight days later the Office of Price Administration directed that the price be reduced to the June level of $2.75 a barrel, which remained in effect to the end of the year. With rising costs of operation, it is feared that many of the smaller properties cannot continue production unless the Federal price cut is revoked. During the year, Allegany Refiners Inc., a local enterprise founded in 1933, with plant at Bolivar, western Allegany County, increased its refining capacity from 1000 to 1500 bbl. daily. At the same time equipment was added to make the plant a complete lubricating-oil refinery, including facilities for the refining of wax into the finished product. Previous to the enlargement, it was necessary to sell the wax
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