The number of new wells US operators drilled onshore fell by half in 2015 vs. 2014, in line with the YOY decline in rig count, according to the RigData quarterly well count. The news was even worse in a YOY comparison for Q4, down by -63%.
The top 20 US operators by land wells drilled accounted for ~40% of all wells, and 2015 brought big changes in the rankings. Three of 2014’s top 20 operators—Apache, SandRidge, and Linn Energy, respectively—drilled -79%, -78%, and -71% fewer wells in 2015, dropping them from the top 20 rankings.
Aera Energy, which drilled the second most wells in 2015, is the only top 20 operator that increased its well count this year. The total number of wells drilled fell by -42% to -66% in most regions, excluding Alaska and Appalachia, with delines of -2.5% and -35% YOY, respectively.
Although the Midcontinent saw a -58% drop in well count, the Anadarko Woodford and Arkoma Woodford each increased well counts by +18%—the only plays to see an increase in well activity YOY.