The slide in oil prices recently has been causing a noticeable trend with the amount of rigs accounted for among various shale plays throughout the United States. In fact, over the past three weeks, rig counts have seen substantial declines with over 90 rigs being shut down, according to Baker Hughes. Which raises the question. Which of the major shale plays is experiencing the largest disparity in its monthly rig counts? Below is a chart listing the seven major shale plays along with the number of rigs it accounted for over a five-month period from August, 2014 thru December, 2014. Numbers in black represent the starting point in August, while green shows monthly gain and red shows monthly loss. Any numbers in grey color went unchanged from the previous month. The following numbers were taken from shaleexperts.com.
The biggest swing in the number of rigs came from the Permian Basin from October, 2014 to November, 2014 when rigs went up 11 in a month to 567, which is where it currently stands. Marcellus has remained steady at 82 rigs since October, 2014. Bakken peaked in October last year with 198 rigs and is now down 4 to 189 in December. Niobrara also peaked in October, 2014 at 64 rigs, up 3 from its current total of 61. Eagle Ford shale topped out at 212 rigs in November, 2014, up 6 from its current total of 206 rigs. Utica bucked the recent trend and gained 3 rigs from August with a current total of 48. Haynesville finished the year down 5 rigs from its peak of 45 in September, 2014.