US onshore industry bustles with high prices, decline legacy

Alan PetzetChief Editor-Exploration and EconomicsRelatively high gas and oil prices are exerting more punch into US onshore exploration and development.A slow early-year start in the face of optimistic capital spending plans has given way to the biggest rig count jump in 15 years in the first quarter, a traditional time of drilling decline (OGJ, May 5, 2003, p. 63).From 862 rigs active during the last week of 2002, the count approached 1,000 units at this writing in early May after reaching only 912 by Feb. 28. Onshore units dominated the gains in recent weeks, and intent to drill filings are also up.The press of activity is occurring under a shadow that has seen oil and gas production an...

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