Rig utilization in the major unconventional plays broke above 80% for the first time since last October, according to the February 10 issue of The Land Rig Newsletter’s Unconventional Drilling Report. While most areas had gains, the Eagle Ford and Bakken were standouts where utilization rates improved by 12% and 4%, respectively. Both the Eagle Ford and Bakken were at 130 active rigs and had 96% and 83% utilization, respectively.
Unconventional rig counts seem to nudging into record territory, at least by the metrics the UDR tracks. The combined total shale count hit an apparent all-time high of 675 as of February 4—courtesy mainly of a 13-unit surge in the Eagle Ford and a 7-rig gain in the Bakken. Meanwhile, the tally for total combined unconventional rigs was 795. The LRNL team’s aggregate unconventional count has never topped 800, but it could do that very soon. Once the UDR starts tracking another five unconventional liquids plays later this quarter, 800+ unconventional rigs will be a routine occurrence in the newsletter.