After peaking in early October, the rig counts for both the shales and the tights sands have drifted steadily downward. The lion’s share of the unconventionals’ decline has occurred in the gas-prone shales. Counterintuitively, however, much of the drop occurred among rigs drilling in the oil windows of these plays—a decline of 15 units sequentially in the latest biweekly comps by the latest Unconventional Drilling Report.
Another surprise recorded by the UDR was the collapse in the Eagle Ford, which gave up 14 units, split evenly between oil and gas. These losses were spread among a number of the operators in the play, a couple of rigs at a time. This is due likely more to coincidence of the float than to trend, given the immaturity of the play and the many locations still to drill. And the fact that the overall count and the Eagle Ford tally scarcely budged in comps of the latest Biweekly Report issues.