The signs all point to rig count growth in the second half of the year, but at a much slower pace than we saw in a comparison of halves in 2017 and 2018, according to S&P Global Platts RADAR.
As the nearby chart shows, the sum of sequential increases in the rig count massively dwarfed the sum of declines in the first half of l2017. With 2H 2018 to date, that situation has been reversed, as the sum of declines totaled -150 while increases added up to just 116. In the first half of this year, the sum of decreases was higher and the sum of increases was far below corresponding periods of 1H 2017. In 2H 2018, the gap between these two metrics has shrunk, and both sums are their smallest yet for 2017–2018.
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There seems to be little scope for significant gains in rig count for the rest of the year, even as each week since early June has remained above 1,000 rigs since early 2015, according to Platts RADAR analysts. The rig counts’ delta from the average for these 10 weeks ranges from only -14 to +29. Last year for a comparable period, the range was -33 to +25. In 2017, week-to-week increases added up to +459 vs. -210 in sequential declines over the course of the entire year. This year, the comparable sums are +256 and -106—pretty close to half. We’re seeing a new stability in rig counts that belies a 29% increase in oil prices.
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.