Register Today! Webinar on June 16 | Geopolitics & Energy – Supply Risks on the Rise

Eagle Ford Rig Activity December 2014-January 2015


Wednesday morning as I was perusing industry news, I came across this excellent Q&A on Oilpro. Our good friend Joseph Triepke posted a very complete answer to Vijay Thiyagarajan’s question “Who are the main land drilling rig contractors in the US?” in part his reply was:

The key drilling contractors in the US market include:
– Nabors Industries
– Helmerich & Payne
– Patterson-UTI
(together these first three control a little over 1/3rd of the US rental market)
– Precision Drilling
– Pioneer Energy Services
– Parker Drilling
– Unit Corp
– Independence Contract Drilling
– Seventy Seven Energy
Beyond the big guys, the market becomes largely fractured and there are quite a few small “mom & pop” drillers.

Since our DI Analytics group has recently finished up a Rig Analytics module and our previous posts on Rig Movement and Are Rig Counts Dead? were both very interesting to me and very popular with you, I thought I would take my newbie O&G skills and look into the last couple of months of rig activity.

Eagle Ford Rig Activity for the three “key” drillers

I like the Eagle Ford, it’s generally regarded as among the most economical of current onshore US Shales, and certainly was the biggest boomer going from 581 BOEPD in 2008 to 1,500,000 BOEPD in August 2014.

The activity date range I have chosen for all of my analysis is 11/29/2014 to 1/27/2015.

Here is the Eagle Ford rig activity for Helmerich & Payne, Nabors, and Patterson, the three “key” drillers highlighted by Triepke:

Eagle Ford Rig Activity - figure 1

We see a lot of lateral movement by H&P and Nabors across Dimmit, La Salle, and McMullen Counties, and a fair amount of concentrated activity in Karnes and Dewitt. Patterson has a lot more activity across the northern part of the play area.

Here is a snapshot of the movement stats


Here are the same rigs and movements colored by the 27 operators that have contracted these three drillers.

Eagle Ford Rig Activity - figure 3

Predictably, the operators activities are a lot more focused on their areas of interest.

Dimmit , La Salle and McMullen counties

Next, let’s focus in on that southwestern portion and look at *all* of the active drillers in Dimmit , La Salle and McMullen counties.

Eagle Ford Rig Activity - figure 4

So, in addition to the “key” three, for these counties we see another 9 drillers with between 1 and 17 rigs active.

Finally, let’s zoom out and see what rigs are moving into or out of the play.

Eagle Ford Rig Activity - figure 5

It doesn’t appear that rigs are moving into or away from the Eagle Ford at an appreciable rate either way over the last couple of months. Additionally the Permian Basin, and Eaglebine are showing strong localized activity, and we have outlier activity along the coast and into further south Texas.

In Conclusion

The DI Rigs Analytics tool is built on DI’s Analytics grade data, meaning all the operators, drillers, formations, reservoirs, and plays have been aliased and normalized, and the rigs are monitored by GPS locater units that update location information daily – these are the rigs that have been active for this time slice, and this data does not include stacked or marketed rigs.

For this time period in the state of Texas, there are:

  • 94 Active Drilling Contractors
  • 332 Active Operators
    And …
  • 638 Active Rigs that move an average of 15.21 miles between locations, and are permitted at an average depth of 11127.82 ft.


Does your dashboard show you all of that? Does it reflect the last 24 hours?

Your Turn

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

The following two tabs change content below.

Eric Roach

Eric Roach is the editor of Drillinginfo's blog, which was selected as the Top Oil & Gas Industry Blog based on visibility, engagement and relevance. He also prepares a weekly newsletter of top industry news for blog subscribers, and would be grateful if you would subscribe and tell your friends. (There's a box on the upper right of the page where you can subscribe).