As the gap between available
and active rigs continues to
close, the average rig fleet
age is now younger.
The total available rig count for the
U.S. continued to decline in 2012, even
though activity strengthened, according
to the 59th annual NOV Downhole Rig
Census. Sliding commodity prices since
last year did not seem to impact drilling
momentum during this year’s census period
in the early summer. While activity
grew, the fleet continued to shrink, despite
another large number of newly manufactured
rigs that came online over the
past year. This combination of increasing
demand and declining supply further
tightened U.S. rig utilization in 2012.
The Canadian market saw both rig
availability and rig activity recede during
the 2012 census period. A somewhat greater
exodus of rigs occurred this year that
outnumbered the uptick in new units built.
Canada seemed to react more quickly to
the lowered levels of oil and gas prices, as
evidenced by the drop in drilling.
The global offshore mobile fleet experienced
a different scenario altogether,
with available rigs, as well as active rigs,
climbing. Even more new units entered the
worldwide fleet, and these rigs are gradually
being put to work as the rebound continues
after the U.S. moratorium.
NOV Downhole partners with several
companies to pull together the industry statistics
that are published in this article. IHS
Drilling Data, RigData and ODS-Petrodata
provide detailed information regarding
the U.S. land and global offshore mobile rig
fleets. The Canadian statistics are provided
by NOV Downhole personnel in Calgary,
along with Nickle’s Energy Group. The international
land rig fleet numbers are collected
and summarized annually by NOV
Downhole regional managers.
Key statistics from the 2012 census include the following:
- The U.S. rig fleet had a net decline of
75 units, causing the total available
count to fall about 2%, to 3,006 units.
This overall decrease is the result of
335 rig additions and 410 rig deletions
occurring during the past year, Fig. 1.
- A number of U.S. rigs, 386 units,
were retired from active service over
the past year.
- Newly manufactured rigs were the
largest addition to the fleet, numbering
- U.S. rigs meeting the census definition
of “active” increased to 2,248, up 9%.
- U.S. rig utilization (combined land
and offshore) rose to 75%, up from
67% last year, Fig. 2.
- The total number of U.S. rig owners
dropped to 317, from 325 in 2011.
- Drilling contractors continue to own
85% of all U.S. drilling rigs, with operators
owning the remaining 15%.
- The Canadian available rig fleet declined
to 747 units, down 3% from
- Canadian rig activity also dropped
11%, with active rigs numbering 329.
- Canadian utilization is now 44%,
compared with 48% in 2011.
- The global offshore mobile fleet’s
available count came in at 824, after
- Global offshore mobile activity was
up 12%, with active rigs at 626 units.
- Utilization for the global offshore
mobile fleet is now 76%, up from
70% last year.
- Most international regions showed
increases in land utilization, with the
average at 95% in 2012.
To learn more about the 2012 NOV Downhole Rig Census please download the article here .