Fewer but busier wells forecast

A drilling and service rig trade association is projecting a decrease in Canada’s well count next year. But the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors also expects the average time spent on those wells to increase.

A drilling and service rig trade association is projecting a decrease in Canada’s well count next year. But the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors also expects the average time spent on those wells to increase.

In its 2014 drilling forecast, issued on Wednesday, the CAODC said it anticipates that 10,604 wells will be drilled next year.

That would be 45 fewer than the tally the association anticipates for this year.

It expects drilling next year to translate into 124,701 operating days for rig contractors, which is more than projected for 2013.

The association explained in a release that the increase reflects the increasing complexity of the wells being drill, with each project expected to require an average of 11.7 drilling days.

“Horizontal drilling has brought a new dynamic to this industry,” said Mark Scholz, CAODC president. “The Canadian rig fleet offers more deep drilling rigs than ever before.”

On a quarterly basis, the CAODC anticipates a rig utilization rate of 62 per cent, or 508 rigs, during the first three months of 2013.

Those figures will drop to 19 per cent, or 156 rigs, with spring break-up in the second quarter; followed by 41 per cent, or 339 rigs, in the third quarter; and 44 per cent, or 365 rigs, in the final three months of the year.

CAODC expects its members’ registered fleet to number 820 rigs to start 2014, with nine more units to be added during the year.

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