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To put a positive spin on it, the theme for 2002 was stability. Last year began with 883 rigs and finished with 860 rigs. The last half of the year was remarkably flat. Monthly averages from June to year-end varied less than 25 rigs. That kind of stability is what companies ordinarily want; it helps them plan and budget. However, last year’s flat rig count needs to be 50% higher for the industry to use its present capacity.
A noteworthy feature shown in the graphs below is that the US almost doesn’t drill for oil anymore. As of mid-September 2002, 86.4% of all US rotary rigs were drilling for gas – an all-time high.
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