As the drilling of wells targeting conventional hydrocarbons continues to grow and with the upside of increased unconventional activity around the world, our analysis suggests that the near 35,000 onshore wells drilled last year would need to rise to nearly 44,000 by 2017 to overcome production decline and/or increase production in some countries. The impact on the drilling and oilfield services industry is compounded by increasing well depths and higher expenditure per well than ever before. Looking ahead five years, in international markets the proportion of deviated or horizontal wells may increase to 23% – exacerbating the requirement for directional drilling and associated oilfield services.
But can the world’s rig supply cope with the increase in demand? We currently track in excess of 300 international rig contractors’ fleets – a highly fragmented global market with median rig ownership of just six units. The international fleet continues to age and replacement of older low-powered units is imperative (only 15% of the world’s fleet is 2,000HP or greater, the median is 1,023HP) in order to access unconventional deviated and deep vertical well contracts. This is good news for rig OEMs with newbuild rig or heavy refurbishment requirements in excess of 500 per year over the next five years, and many of these will need to be high spec units. Recent consultation with the industry confirms our hypothesis, so we look forward to seeing further strengthening in results from drilling contractors & OFS companies.
Rod Westwood, Douglas-Westwood, London
+44 1795 594 728 or firstname.lastname@example.org