Shale Daily / NGI All News Access

Unconventional Drilling Activity Up Slightly

NGI's Unconventional Rig Count edged up ever so slightly for the week ending July 22, rising to 987 rigs from 984 the previous week. Despite the pedestrian weekly advance, the current unconventional rig count remains a full 3% higher than the 961 rigs that were at work one month ago.

The biggest percentage changes for the week occurred in the Rocky Mountains, where the rig count in the Green River Basin rose by two rigs (8%) to 28, but in the Uinta Basin fell by two rigs (8%) to 24. The rig totals in the neighboring Piceance and Niobrara-Denver Julesburg basins were unchanged for the week.

The only other basin to see a decline in rigs was the Haynesville/Bossier play, where the combination of a slowdown in the need to drill to hold leases, a preponderance of dry gas in a relatively low-gas price environment and competition for rigs in nearby "oilier" plays like the Eagle Ford, Barnett Combo and the Permian Basin helped drive the rig count down another five rigs (4%) to end the week at 113.

Several publicly traded companies with prominent acreage positions in the Haynesville/Bossier area are scheduled to discuss second quarter earnings over the next two weeks, during which time they may provide clues as to whether and for how long the slide in the Haynesville/Bossier rig count might continue.

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