World Oil in their November publication has updated the rig utilization stats for both North American and the international segments.  Focusing on just the US rig fleet the following data jumps out:

The new construction represents more than 36% of the currently active rig fleet.

The operators are owning more of the drilling fleet now than they have had in the last 20 years – going vertical.

Rigs available for work are now 3,169 units.  Overall the rig utilization rate is 39-40% across the US.

Regions of high activity are Alaska, the Northeast and California (what is that?!?).

What is depressing; however, is that in the traditional oil regions of the US, the rig utilization is hovering in the low 30’s.  For the Southern Rockies (region also covers Eastern Colorado and Kansas) the utilization rate is 36%.  From the “full employment” figure of 96-98% of the 2006-2007 period this represents an industry that’s more that 2/3 laid down.  In our county, 80% of the tax revenue is generated via the energy business.  With 2/3rds of it laid down it represents jobs lost, people moving out, foreclosures and all that lovely personal stuff that attends to this, crime, divorce, etc.  How is that “hopey – changey” working out for you now?  How’s all that new permit environmental regulation working Ritter?  How many chickens have you saved on the Roan Plateau?  I’m sure your law firm enjoyed the extra work.

Cool GIS Rig Stats in Your Area


Heard that the Republican Josh Penry just dropped out of the race.  Too bad, even if he was way too young, something like the coach of the Broncos, he would of at least given us a choice of somebody else that’s running except Hogan & Hartson of Washington, DC.

Who’s this you ask?  Well, its the law firm (the firm) that both McInnis and Ritter work for.  Remember Ritter had to make sure the firm gets their stimulus money (fees) first – just in case.

FromDenver Post article.

Ritter hired his former law firm, the Washington-based Hogan & Hartson, in a no-bid contract to review stimulus spending, The Denver Post reported Friday. It said the firm was paid $40,000 in stimulus money through June.

Aides to the governor insisted the contract was properly awarded. The state attorney general’s office deemed the contract necessary to allow the state to have speedy legal advice about stimulus money. The contract is too small to require competitive bidding.

Ritter worked for the Denver office of Hogan & Hartson in 2005, leaving the following year when he ran for governor. The law firm has about 1,300 lawyers across the country and specializes in public finance, real estate, white-collar litigation and environmental and governmental regulation.

Note: Ritter was making sure the “firm” is handled and also note how he supplied the firm with all the additional “environmental” work in these last few years.  Although it has cost the people of the western slope dearly in jobs and livilhood (75% of the industry laid down in a quarter), the firm did OK with all of Ritter’s new work in the evironment and governmental regulation.

So now we are suppose to get excited the next candidate the firm offering up for show, this Scott McInnis.  I think somebody told me once his office was across the hallway from Ritter – like they shared the same view.  The firm must think the Colorado folks are into the way stupid and these lawyers are interchangable parts to them.  But hey, maybe the  Denver/Boulder folks are so smoked out, its all they can handle and can’t see anything else.


We have been watching RD Shell slowing retreat out of the area.  First there was the “non renewal” of the government oil shale leases.  Then we began to hear the rumors last year when oil was $147/bbl that they had made a test run at the freeze wall facility, but  the results were limited (and disappointing to them) and under no circumstance economic.  Next we started to hear about shift changes on the facility – no longer the three shifts a day.  It appeared to be  scaled down to a maintenance crew, daylights only.  We started to hear about refining personal being asked to reassign to the facilities in the tar sands of  Canada.  This summer we started to hear about local budget restraints, cost cutting maneuvers, droping local support functions which RD Shell has been active in for decades.

Haven’t heard anything official from- all the financial news is great for RD Shell – elsewhere.  It seems to add up as “we be gone.”

See ya! Shell, USA was a great company for the State of Colorado – back in the day

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