Folks in Houston tend to feel like the oil and gas industry revolves around them. That's fine -- we can let them think that. They have to live there, after all.
Meanwhile, there's a healthy number of E&P companies headquartered to the northwest, in Denver, Colorado. Three of the leading Denver outfits just reported year-end results -- and more importantly, their plans for 2009 -- so let's see how they're reacting to the downturn.
First we have St. Mary Land & Exploration
From a peak of 16 operated rigs in mid-2008, St. Mary is dialing back to an expected average of six for 2009. This might seem drastic, but it's a far cry from zero, and there's nothing forcing the company's hand here. Management simply noted that "deferring additional investment for development drilling is appropriate in the current highly deflationary industry cost environment in order to improve returns on invested capital."
Compare this to Whiting Petroleum
Finally, let's turn to Bill Barrett