Every Friday, Baker Hughes
The first key trend is the dramatic shift from vertical to directional and horizontal drilling. Drilling in tight gas shales used to be thoroughly unconventional. Following the success of Mitchell Energy (acquired by Devon Energy
A year ago, there were 468 vertical rigs and 658 directional/horizontal rigs running in the U.S. Today, those numbers are 489 and 918, with the horizontal rig count up 63%.
With my early coverage of plays like the Marcellus and the Eagle Ford, as well as international developments, I like to think that I have kept Fools well-apprised of key shale gas goings-on. An area where my coverage could have been better over the past few years is in the Bakken and other onshore oil plays.
To be fair, I have mentioned the Bakken in 34 separate articles since 2008. I quoted EOG Resources
If I'd kept a closer watch on oil drilling activity in the Bakken, in addition to places like the Permian Basin, I don't think I would have been caught so off guard by the following statistic: U.S. oil-directed rigs are now at an 18-year high. Mea culpa, Fools. I will be sure to keep a closer eye on the onshore oil scene going forward.
Fool contributor Toby Shute doesn't have a position in any company mentioned. Check out his CAPS profile or follow his articles using Twitter or RSS. The Fool owns shares of Chesapeake Energy. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.