The Art of Makin’ Hole Shifts to New Levels

If high oil prices weren’t enough to drive increased exploration and production activity in 2005, improved drilling technology was. Some experts now estimate the average footage drilled per rig has increased more than 12% over the past five years. Ironically, this has come despite an industry-wide trend toward drilling deeper and more difficult wells as operators explore smaller and smaller reservoirs in harsher environments. While general rig footage trends are moving higher, total footage drilled appears to be increasing faster, up 10% from 2004 and an estimated 100% increase from a few years ago. Key technical advances in drill bits have sparked much of the increase in activity a...

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