United States: US drilling ///

The good times are continuing, but there are signs that the drilling curve may be creaming. Growth in US drilling activity should continue in 2007, increasing nearly 7%. While this growth is slower than the immediate past, it nevertheless would be the fifth consecutive year of increase. The 2007 story centers on continued faith in gas and oil prices, with the majors’ focus on development activity. When compared with other regions around the globe, the US is a bright spot for 2007, considering that drilling outside the US is expected to decrease by 4.7%. Moreover, the US drilled nearly as many wells as the rest of the world combined. One year ago, World Oil forecast that in 2006, the US would drill 45,604 wells. By midyear, noting that operators were delirious over $75/bbl oil and able to somehow access rigs, we revised the full-year figure to 49,177. The final 2006 numbers came in very close, estimated at 48,929 wells.

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