The number of rigs prospecting for unconventional resources has remained relatively stable since midyear. As of early December, there were 783 rigs drilling in unconventional plays, compared to 751 in mid-July, according to The Land Rig Newsletter’s Unconventional Drilling Report.
There were 158 active rigs in the Haynesville, down from 180 in July, and 106 units in the Eagle Ford, up from 73 in July. The Marcellus saw the second greatest jump, as its count surged by 28 to 139. Meanwhile, the Bakken continues to impress, as the play attracted another 14 rigs, bringing its total to 125.
The Land Rig Newsletter team expects the number of rigs drilling for unconventional resources to remain range-bound in the near term, tracking 750–800 units. As long as commodity supply/demand fundamentals continue to remain irrelevant, the overarching theme is one of asset-driven drilling for natural gas, coupled with renewed interest in liquids for liquid’s sake.