Barclays: US drilling activity continues to rise

According to Barclay’s Drilling Permit Monthly July 2013, onshore drilling permits for the US 30 states that Barclays monitors increased 4% in June, following a 2.7% increase in May and a 7.9% decrease in April. Utah, Texas, and Kansas saw the largest changes in permit activity, with gains of 121 permits, 83 permits, and 68 permits, respectively.

“The gradual increase in permit activity will lead to a continued rise in drilling activity, with an acceleration likely in [this year’s second half],” Barclays said.

In June, the US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management issued 37 permits for floating rigs in the US Gulf of Mexico, compared with 36 permits announced in May and 45 permits in April. Of the 37 offshore permits issued in June, 20 permits were for exploration and 17 were for development.

Exploration locations in the gulf, including both shallow and deep water, stand at 35, up from 33 at yearend 2012 and up from 28 at the comparable period last year, according to IHS-Petrodata.

“The continued strong permitting environment in the US Gulf of Mexico suggests a continued improvement in the deepwater rig count, especially in light of recent, very successful discovery announcements in the lower tertiary. We expect this to persist in the coming months,” Barclays said.

A total of 41 shallow-water permits (3 for new wells) in the US Gulf of Mexico were issued in June, down from 49 in May (10 for new wells) and up from 37 in April (4 for new wells).

Contact Conglin Xu at

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