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API survey: U.S. shale drilling expenditures up in 2015

Michael Tadeo | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, April 10, 2017 – The domestic oil and natural gas industry spent an estimated $122.8 billion in drilling approximately 28,809 oil and natural gas wells in 2015, according to API’s 2015 Joint Association Survey on Drilling Costs.

The report shows the estimated number of wells drilled decreased by 37.6 percent from 2014 levels, with an overall decrease in expenditures of 27.2 percent, while the number of shale-gas wells drilled remained relatively unchanged from 2014 to 2015, and shale well expenditures saw an increase of approximately $119 million.

Expenditures on shale drilling represented 47.7 percent of costs, nearly half of all spending on drilling in 2015.

The report also shows expenditures on oil accounted for 64.5 percent of all drilling costs in 2015, and natural gas expenditures accounted for 24.8 percent of costs, up from 24.4 percent in 2014.

Development well expenditures were $109.6 billion in 2015, while exploratory well expenditures were estimated at $5.6 billion.

API’s 2015 Joint Association Survey on Drilling Costs is available through API’s primary distributor, IHS. If you would like to purchase this report, please contact IHS at 1-800-854-7179, or visit their website at

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 625 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 40 million Americans.