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Arthur Berman

Arthur Berman

Arthur E. Berman is a petroleum geologist with 36 years of oil and gas industry experience. He is an expert on U.S. shale plays and…

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Rig Count: Capitulation?

Rig Count: Capitulation?

After last week’s moderate drop in rig count, the amount of horizontal oil rigs seems to implode this week.

The U.S. land rig count was down 37 this week and the land horizontal rig count was down 30.

Is this capitulation? Hard to say but it's the biggest drop since March 2015. And, the Fayetteville Shale play officially bit the dust this week with zero rigs for the first time since the play began in 2005.

The tight oil horizontal rig count was down by 20 and the key Bakken-Eagle Ford-Permian HRZ rig count was down by 14. The Bakken lost 3 rigs, the Eagle Ford, 4, and the Permian, 7.

Shale gas lost 8 HRZ rigs. The Haynesville lost 2, the Marcellus, 6, the Utica 1, the Fayetteville, 1. The Woodford and Barnett each gained 1 rig.

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

(Click to enlarge)

By Art Berman for Oilprice.com

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  • Lee James on January 11 2016 said:
    Thanks for clearly reporting "horizontal oil rig count."

    I feel like drilling status got muddled over the last few years, mixing vertical rig activity together with horizontal, tight-rock rigs. Seems especially important in tracking extraction cost. Operations can look less expensive if you play rig-counts right.

    The U.S. domestic oil extraction industry needs to come-clean, in general, on cost. I feel like the industry is starting to acknowledge real and total cost, but isn't there yet. We've got a lot of investor hype to get over. Free cash flow is properly making its way to the forefront of our attention as we become less fixated on oil volume flow.

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