Market shares among the various large drillers are shifting, perhaps presaging the kind of consolidation already expected among the operators this year, contends the RigData News & Analysis RDNA team, writing in the latest issue of the RADAR Report. The Big 3—Helmerich & Payne, Patterson UTI, and Nabors—now have 42% of the market (as defined by active rigs) vs. 37% at the start of last October, when the rig count peaked last year. But the rest of the major drillers the RADAR Report tracks collectively hold a 26% share vs. 24% last October—with Nomac the biggest gainer, up 2 percentage points in the same comparison. To some degree, this reflects the usual Q1 erosion of small private firms from the active operator ranks (when they’re focused on securing capital), as they typically hire the smaller drillers. But unlike other years, cautions the RDNA team, don’t expect to see either group returning in droves later this year, which means a buyer’s market for small, mechanical rigs and many small drillers exiting the business altogether.