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API: Oil and natural gas drilling down by half in fourth quarter 2015

Carlton Carroll | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, January 19, 2016 – Estimated total U.S. oil and natural gas well completions fell by 51 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015 compared to year-ago levels, according to API's 2015 Quarterly Well Completion Report, Fourth Quarter.

“Our growth as a global energy superpower has been a game-changer for U.S. energy security while making energy cheaper for American consumers,” said Hazem Arafa, director of API's statistics department. “We can’t expect that growth to continue if our own outdated energy polices stand in the way. Reducing unnecessary regulations and speeding up permitting on federal lands will help U.S. producers to compete effectively in the global market under the low-price environment.” 

Estimated development oil well completions in 2015 fourth quarter fell 55 percent compared to 2014 fourth quarter estimates.  Estimated development gas completions decreased 37 percent over the same period.

For 2015, total well completions decreased 35 percent overall compared to 2014 levels.  Oil completions were down 37 percent and natural gas completions were down 28 percent). Total footage drilled was down 27 percent overall.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

The 2015 API Quarterly Well Completion Report, Fourth Quarter is available for an annual subscription through API's primary distributor, IHS. If you would like to purchase an annual subscription to this report, please contact IHS at 1-800-854-7179, or visit their website at