Could we see a pullback in the Marcellus active rig count next year? Early indications seem to suggest that possibility as more than one operator is talking about modifications and/or reductions to their programs, Cabot plans a 5-rig Marcellus program next year, down from 7 rigs currently. Range, one of the leading companies in the play, plans to reduce the number of wells drilled per pad, which could mean fewer rigs as well.
There is no slowdown for oil/liquids drilling, however. Look no further than the Permian Basin to get a sense of the huge migration from gas to liquids over the past year. Currently, there are 374 active rigs drilling in the region, an 82% increase vs. 2009, according to the latest issue of The Land Rig Newsletter’s Biweekly Report. Back in early July, the Permian had 327 working rigs. Throughout the 3Q, the count continued to rise, resulting in an average weekly count of 342 for the quarter. The Land Rig Newsletter team expects this trend to continue for the near future.