WASHINGTON – After posting a 22 percent first-quarter decline relative to 2009, U.S. oil and natural gas drilling activity staged a turnaround in the second quarter, with completions rising 38 percent from 2009’s second quarter, according to API’s 2010 Quarterly Well Completion Report: Second Quarter.
An estimated 10,358 oil wells, natural gas wells and dry holes were completed in the second quarter of 2010, according to the report.
“The roller coaster year of 2009 has given way to somewhat brighter prospects in U.S. drilling activity in 2010,” said Hazem Arafa, director of API’s statistics department. “As expectations for crude and natural gas demand have become more bullish, drilling activity has started to reverse its steep decline from the last five quarters. In 2010’s second quarter, the estimated number of exploratory oil and natural gas wells drilled jumped 35 percent from second quarter 2009, demonstrating the oil and natural gas industry’s continued commitment to finding new sources of oil and gas to increase U.S. production.”
For most of this decade, natural gas had been the primary target of domestic drilling. But with the pace of oil well completions continuing to surge, this is no longer the case. An estimated 4,396 natural gas wells were completed in the second quarter of 2010, up 22 percent from 2009’s second quarter. Meanwhile, estimated second-quarter oil well completions surged 59 percent from the corresponding quarter, to 4,847.
API also reported total estimated footage of 58,373,000 feet drilled in the second quarter of 2010, a 16 percent increase from second quarter 2009.
The API Quarterly Well Completion Report is available for an annual subscription from API (telephone, 202-682-8499) or through API’s Internet-based on-line service, API DATA. For more information, contact API DATA at 202-682-8511.
Updated: July 13, 2010