The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors has hiked its forecast of 2013 drilling in western Canada 2.3% to 10,649 wells based on first quarter performance that was stronger than expected in the association’s November 2012 forecast.
CAODC said industry averaged 496 rigs or 61% utilization in January through March, compared with the 60% utilization anticipated in the November forecast.
In first quarter drilling, Alberta utilization averaged 60% (365 rigs running in a fleet of 607), Saskatchewan 56% (70 rigs of 125 available), in British Columbia 81% (47 out of 58 available rigs), and in Manitoba 55% (13 out of 24 rigs available).
CAODC projects that quarterly utilization will be consistent with what was identified last fall with the exception of an uptick to 40% from 35% in the third quarter.
The most substantive revision focused on fleet size. Last November, CAODC noted contractors planned to add new rigs in 2013 and had anticipated the fleet size for the year would average out to 830 rigs. It is still the case that the fleet is in a period of growth, but the new units will come available later in the year. As a result, CAODC adjusted its 2013 forecast to reflect an annual fleet average of 823 rigs.