The oil rig count surpassed 1,000 active rigs for the first time since the boom of the 1980s in June of 2011. The big difference between now and the early 1980s is that companies are now targeting shale plays and unconventional rocks that require horizontal drilling and multi-stage hydraulic fracturing (fracking) to produce commercial quantities of oil.
The average rig working the oil patch today runs with a higher horsepower motor and is much more efficient than its predecessors three decades ago. That combination means 1,000 rigs today can do a lot more work than more rigs in the 1980s.
$100 oil has created jobs between California, North Dakota, and Texas, as well as put money back into the hands of American mineral owners. If prices remain at these levels, we’ll see activity continue to climb.
Check out the data at Baker Hughes. com