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What You Should Probably Know About US Onshore Rigs


So much time and effort is spent trying to predict the future of oil and gas.

Financial firms and players in the industry buy and analyze multiple different datasets and hire the smartest people to estimate future production. One key data point used to predict production is the rig count. Traditional rig counts are released once a week with a breakdown of rig count by general location. So many companies wait for and rely on this dataset that it causes market moves based on the expectations it sets and the decisions companies make off of it.

But there are a few problems with this method.

First of all, if the goal is to make money off of these predictions and you want to invest accordingly, whatever advantage you might have had in estimating future production and changes in operator performance is gone by the time the weekly rig count is released. All of your competitors are getting the exact same data and making their own investments based on it. The rig count gives you no real competitive advantage.

And what if your predictions are just plain wrong?

Traditional rig counts have limitations that mean they are no longer sufficient to gauge future productivity. There are a few reasons why:

  1. Rig efficiency varies greatly, meaning not all rigs drill the same number of new wells each month
  2. Rigs drilling horizontal wells versus vertical wells impact future production differently
  3. Operators are drilling, but not completing wells, meaning that an increase in the number of new wells being drilled doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in production

There has to be a better way to examine rig activity and estimate future production.

Drillinginfo rig intelligence is more than a rig count. It is a tool that lets you track the factors that impact production, thereby helping you more accurately predict future production. Drillinginfo tracks 95% of the U.S. rig fleet, primarily through GPS units placed directly on the rigs. The result is near real-time coverage for almost every rig in the country. No more waiting for weekly counts.

Beyond simply tracking the number and locations of rigs, the Drillinginfo product DI Rig Analytics augments the GPS data with reports from drilling contractors and production and permit data from state agencies for a holistic look at the current drilling landscape. With this level of deep analysis, DI Rig Analytics solves the problems traditional rig counts have with accurately predicting production. The product allows customers to track rig efficiency by individual rig, operator, driller, or the entire fleet; new well starts by trajectory; and the number of wells that have been drilled in the past six month, but have no reported production, indicating that they were not completed. With DI Rig Analytics, customers can filter down to the single rig level and view the associated operator or driller, number of new well starts, and the number of horizontal vs vertical wells drilled.

Not only is predicting production simpler and more accurate with Drillinginfo, it’s also cheaper. You can find a daily rig count, new permits filed per month, and a monthly estimate of oil and gas production capacity in the U.S. for free with the DI Index available at

There is a better way to predict production and beat your competitors. We can show you how.

onshore rigs

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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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