Liquids plays rejuvenate Lower 48 onshore basins

Alan Petzet Chief Editor-Exploration Paula Dittrick Senior Staff Writer Plays for oil or wet gas have revitalized exploration and development in the US onshore Lower 48. Economic drilling, most of it horizontal, has pushed up the active rig count to its highest level since 2008 and is reversing production declines in some areas, operators report. The Baker Hughes Inc. weekly count was at 1,991 rigs as of Sept. 23, and nearly two thirds of the rigs were drilling horizontally. The various plays are spawning new gathering systems, pipelines, gas processing plants, and even rail transportation for the liquid hydrocarbons. They have created thousands of jobs, raised water use issues, and attra...

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