Improved Expectations for US onshore
Westwood Global Energy Group (Westwood) has today released its latest basin-by-basin outlook for the US onshore market, harnessing the latest data from US unconventionals specialist Energent Group’s multi-million well database. Despite a flattening in rig count growth through the second half of 2017, the US market looks set to experience multiple years of double digit growth in both expenditure and activity.
Total Drilling & Completion Expenditure by Basin and Total Rig Count
Source: Westwood, Baker Hughes
2017 represented a marked recovery in both activity and expenditure both across the six basins covered in the report, and through the wider US onshore sector. Westwood’s latest report highlights an 82% increase in expenditure last year alongside a 60% increase in drilling and a 28% increase in completion activity. Well designs have also increased in complexity, with a continuation of trends to longer laterals and an increasing number of stages pushing up per well costs in order for operators to maximise recovery per $ spent.
Over the forecast, Westwood expects a continuation of the recovery, with total rig count rising above 1,000 by the end of the decade. However, arguably more important will be the relaxation of supply chain constraints, as service providers add further frac sand and spread capacity into 2018, therefore allowing completion activity to accelerate – resulting in a 54% increase in completion spend this year.
- $633bn to be spent across the six basins covered over 2018-2022
- Expenditure to grow ahead of the rig count as a function of service pricing increases and increasing OFS intensity per well (e.g. average stages increased from 22 to 37 over 2014-2017)
- 15% total expenditure CAGR expected
- Rig count for the six basins is likely reach 1,216 in 2022, an 83% increase on 2017 average
- Completions to account for 69% of total expenditure over the forecast period
- Permian to dominate both activity and spend (49% of wells spuds and 53% of total expenditure)
- $93bn of upside in high oil price scenario, $56bn downside under low price scenario
- All figures are based on an assessment of future oil prices that sees a gradual upwards increase within the $55-65/bbl range through to the end of the decade, before climbing to $68/bbl in 2022.
The six basins covered in this report (DJ-Niobrara, Eagle Ford, Haynesville, MidCon, Permian and Williston) have seen a significant uplift in activity following oil prices rallying in mid-2016. A continuation of recovery through 2017 has led to rising prices across the supply chain, as spare capacity has been reduced and both drilling and completion crews have been in short supply. Based on an expectation of rising consensus commodity prices through to 2022, Westwood expects the US market to enter a period of sustained growth in both activity and expenditure.
Examining six of the key US unconventional basins and drawing from extensive data and expertise from Westwood’s latest acquisition, Energent Group, the US Drilling & Completion Market Forecast is an invaluable guide to the future prospects for one of the hottest areas of global activity at present. Covering expectations both over the near-term on a quarterly basis (out to Q4 2018) and the long-term on an annual basis (out to 2022), the report builds on a well-by-well historic platform to analyse the latest drilling & completion trends in key drivers such as measured depth, lateral lengths, stage counts and drilling days on a granular level. In addition to key activity metrics (rig count, well spuds and completions), US Drilling & Completions Market Forecast also covers expenditure across 17 key service and equipment lines, such as: casing, frac sand, pressure pumping, tubing, downhole fluids and more.
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