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Precipitated by the steep decline in global oil prices, the non-OPEC* active rig count fell in June to a new multi-year low at roughly 1,600 rigs, a 46 percent decrease since the end of 2014. The severity of the decline in drilling activity varies among countries and producing regions. While the United States and other developed countries have decreased dramatically the number of active rigs throughout the first half of 2015, the total number of active rigs among OPEC members has remained relatively steady with one notable exception: Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia's share of total active rigs worldwide reached 6.9 percent in July, more than double the 3.3 percent average share maintained during 2013. A similar pattern is evident for Kuwait. The increase reflects not only competition for market share, but in Saudi Arabia, it is also the result of a multi-year infrastructure build-out and a readiness to advance select fields into new development stages. Saudi's number of active drilling rigs peaked at 157 rigs in April, a 33 percent increase from January 2013.
Dahsboard last updated: August 2018
*The world total excludes China and Former Soviet Union countries.
The Energy Data Brief offers key statistics designed to help energy market watchers anticipate and respond to developments in the energy sector as well as changes in related industries and investments.