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US Drilling Activity: Can Your Rig Count Data Do This?


Rig counts have been around for over 60 years. The data is used to assess the overall health of the oil & gas industry, understand future supply trends, and reflect the strength and stability of energy prices. The standard counts are pretty simple and straight forward – a map showing the locations of current rigs, released once a week at most.

Given its long history, rig count data has obviously been considered an important metric. But there are a few problems with traditional counts. First of all, they provide an incomplete, static picture of the landscape. And beyond that, what you see on the map is what you get. There is no way to dig deeper than surface level, which is where the value comes in.

To solve the problem of insufficient rig counts, Drillinginfo created DI Rig Analytics, which tracks 95% of the U.S. rig fleet in real time. The product is also packed with granular data that reveals insights and answers questions you never thought you could ask of your old rig count data.

Get the full picture

Would you like to know exactly where a given rig is at any point of the day? Drillinginfo placed GPS units on 75% of U.S.-based rigs and checks in daily with another 20%. That means you don’t have to wait until Friday for rig counts from Baker Hughes. You don’t have to wonder how accurate the data is. When you need to make a time sensitive decision, you have transparent, current, and complete information at your fingertips. Check out how many rigs are still running outside of the major shale plays with this historical rig count chart:
Rig-Count-Data-fig-1 rig count data

Which plays are heating up?

It’s true that you can gauge the answer to this question to some extent with traditional rig counts. A heat map showing weekly locations of rigs can be compared to last week’s heat map or last month’s historical rig count chart and you can draw conclusions from there. But it can be so much simpler than that. With DI Rig Analytics’ graphs, you can easily visualize which plays are heating up or cooling down in comparison to any date the dataset covers. However you decide to look at rig count data over time, when you are dealing with data that provides the full picture, you are going to be making faster, smarter decisions than folks who don’t have the same access. Over the past three months we see that the Permian and Woodford Shale are actually not in decline – also activity outside of major shale plays is up for the time period.
Rig Count Data fig 2 rig count data

It’s all about who you know

RA---fig-3 rig count dataDriller-operator relationships are an important metric for anyone tracking oil and gas companies’ quarterly earnings. This is one area where traditional rig counts are not going to provide any insight at all. With DI Rig Analytics’ Relationship Tree feature, you can easily break down which operators and drillers are associated with the most rig jobs, how diversified each company is, and which companies dominate specific plays. Using this chart, it’s easy to predict how an operator’s CAPEX budget cuts might impact certain drillers’ quarterly earnings estimates, for example.

Picking a productive well

RA---fig-4 rig count dataWhich rigs drill the most productive wells? Having access to that information would give you an unprecedented leg up on forecasting overall operator productivity and returns. DI Rig Analytics tracks the horsepower of 95% of U.S. rigs. Using that information, you can surmise which rigs will be drilling horizontal wells and will, therefore, be most likely to be high producing wells. This is one area where perusing traditional rig counts won’t get you very far.

Who are the hardest working teams?

Time is money. And the longer a rig crew spends drilling a well, the more expensive the well becomes. DI Rig Analytics tracks the efficiency of each crew associated with a well. If you’re an E&P company, this is an easy way to benchmark yourself against your competitors and to gauge whether you have an all-star rig crew you want to hang on to or if you might want to start looking for a new team for your next rig. And if you’re a driller with efficient crews, this could help you identify potential new customers.

Even with a service as seemingly straight-forward as rig counts, there is room for innovation. There can be so much more to the counts than a simple number and map view of rig locations. Now, with DI Rig Analytics, you can use rig count data to answer dozens of questions that will help you stay ahead and make better decisions.

Your Turn

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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Rachel Allen

Rachel Allen is a Product Marketing Manager for Drillinginfo. She works on go-to-market strategy, sales enablement, and customer facing materials for several products across the Drillinginfo product portfolio. Rachel also leads the company’s customer reference program. Her background includes product marketing, public relations, email marketing, event planning, and lead generation, across multiple industries. Rachel holds a BA in History from Wellesley College.

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