Determinants of the Timing and Incidence of Exploratory Drilling on Offshort Wildcat Tracts
51 Pages Posted: 29 Dec 2000 Last revised: 16 Aug 2010
Date Written: December 1993
This paper documents exploratory drilling activity on offshore wildcat oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico that were sold between 1954 and 1990, with emphasis on the period before 1980. For each year of the lease, we study the determinants of the decision whether or not to begin exploratory drilling, and the outcome of any drilling activity. Our results indicate that equilibrium predictions of plausible noncooperative models are reasonably accurate, and more descriptive than those of cooperative models of drilling timing. We discuss why noncooperative behavior may occur, and the potential gains from coordination.
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