Bigger fleets and deeper wells are driving the overall rig count today. And support for unconventional drilling activity continues to broaden beyond the usual suspects. The overall rig count notched a gain of 38 units vs. the prior biweekly period, as a 48-rig gain in the total Traditional count (>5,000 ft) more than offset a loss of 10 shallow gas rigs.
In the Traditional rig count category, oil rigs jumped by 29, gas rigs by 19, and horizontal rigs by 12. The gains or holds were spread across the board for all major shale, tight sands, and coalbed methane plays, with one glaring exception: the Haynesville, which finally took a breather, dropping 8 rigs in a comparison of biweekly periods.
The Haynesville decline was offset by a still-irrepressible Marcellus, adding another 10 units. Meanwhile, the tight sands plays are at their highest rig activity levels in months, topping quarterly averages seen since 1Q 2009.