Operators high-grading drilling opportunities in the major shale plays are helping to ease the nosedive in the US land rig count, according to RigData News & Analysis (RDNA). Writing in RigData’s new RADAR Report, the RDNA team noted that the Eagle Ford rig count YTD is down by -29%, far better than the overall count, which has fallen -39% since December 19, 2014. The Eagle Ford’s stronger activity levels compared to the overall industry is actually to be expected, because many of its sweet spots for drilling continue to offer decent returns even at today’s lower oil and natural gas prices. Operators focused on high-grading opportunities in the unconventional plays will prove to be a major positive for the drilling industry in weathering the downturn. But the other edge of that sword is that this practice, along with operators reducing drilling yet focusing on backlogged completions and re-fracs to cut costs while sustaining revenues, will serve to prolong the oil and gas supply gluts, thus keeping a lid on commodity price gains.