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.

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