Source: RADAR Report | January 12, 2017
A strong example of how fundamentally oil and gas drilling has been transformed by the unconventional resource revolution is a new record market share for rigs drilling horizontal wells. The horizontal market share reached an average of 80% in all of 2016—a first, according to Platts RigData’s RADAR Report. During the past 5 years, the horizontal rigs’ gain has come almost entirely at the expense of vertical rigs, which saw their market share more than halved.
Typically, seasonal declines in the share of vertical rigs drilling reflect small private operators’ activity waxing and waning in the first and fourth quarters as they round up capital for the coming year and spend down their drilling budgets before yearend, respectively. Directional rigs—concentrated heavily in the Western US tight gas basins—have also lost some ground over the past 5 years, but resurgent gas prices could reverse that decline this year, according to the Platts RigData News & Analysis team
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