New well spuds in Q1 totaled 2,120,down -43% from the prior quarter and a brutal -65% YOY, according to RigData’s quarterly well count.
Writing in the latest issue of RigData’s RADAR Report, the RigData News & Analysis team compares the well count results with a quarter-to-quarter drop of -30% in active rigs (quarterly average) and YOY decline in active rigs of -62%.
Two factors that are the most influential drivers of well counts are behind the big QTQ delta between well count and rig count:
• Operators in the unconventional plays today are focused increasingly on high-grading their locations even as they continue pad drilling; consequently, the same rig working from a pad would be drilling fewer wells than would otherwise be the case with a batch-drilling mode that had become increasingly standardized during the boom.
• Non-horizontal drilling has fallen off a cliff. While horizontal drilling in Q1 was down YOY by -56%, directional and vertical well spuds fell by -72%. But the vertical rig count at the end of Q1 of this year had fallen by -76% YOY.