July rig count shows relationship to crude and natural gas prices
The US land rig count softened slightly during July, falling by 7 rigs, or less than a percentage point pullback to 1,022 rigs actively drilling, according to S&P Global Platts Land Rig Newsletter.
Platts Analytics noted that rig activity tends to lag the trends for crude and natural gas prices. So the slight pull back in the rig count should not come as unexpected considering that oil prices were softening during the month of June. Still, it’s worth noting that July marks the first month this year that the US land rig count has declined relative to the prior month.
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In terms of well design, rig activity trends diverged with respect to the catalyst of change. Specifically, the number of rigs used to drill horizontal wells declined by 9 rigs while the number of rigs used to drill vertical and directional wellbores increased by 2 vs. the prior month.
Again, this activity directly contrast the year-to-date trends where the horizontal rig count has grown by 121 rigs, while directional and vertical rig activity has fallen by 5 rigs since the beginning of the year.
In the most recent report of the Land Rig Newsletter, the number of active rigs drilling horizontal wells account for 87% of all rigs.
Upstream Activity Data for North America
For more information on North American upstream activity including permitting, drilling activity, production and completion data please contact S&P Global Platts via email CustomerService.RigData@spglobal.com or call 800-371-0083.