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The US land drilling market is poised to repeat 2006, as sharply higher demand for drilling services rapidly consumes available land rigs. If second-quarter 2008 trends continue, the onshore market will exhaust the supply of available units in most rig classes by the time fall arrives. In fact, demand for 1,500-hp units exceeds capacity. A similar story is developing for 1,000-hp units.
Both classifications comprise the greatest volume of newbuilds in the post-2005 retooling cycle. In all, more than 640 rigs were added to the fleet between 2004 and 2007, according to Fort Worth-based RigData, including 222 units in the 1,000 to 1,499-hp range, and 140 units in the 1,500 to 1,999-hp range. Projections earlier in 2008 called for the industry to add 50 newbuilds in these two categories to the domestic fleet this year, although recent newbuild announcements have increased this total to 75 rigs.
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