The surge in oil drilling shows no sign of letting up. For the foreseeable future, there are ample economically viable opportunities for liquids drilling, according to The Land Rig Newsletter’s Biweekly Report
. Even as sizzling plays such as the Bakken and Eagle Ford still have a lot of room to run, new liquids plays are emerging. Such new plays can be transformational. For decades North Dakota’s rig count barely registered. Thanks to the Bakken, the state now accounts for almost 10% of the nation’s rig count and has perhaps the strongest economy. The shift from gas to liquids drilling has been just as seismic. Looking at oil rig vs. gas rig data for 3Q 2010 vs. 3Q 2011 (July-August), the exchange of respective market shares is uncannily even. The gas rig share of the total count fell from 56.3% to 43.6%, while the oil rig share of the total count jumped from 43.7% to 56.4%. YOY, unconventional oil rigs have accounted for about 9 of the nearly 13 percentage point gain in the overall oil rig count.