U.S. crude oil and natural gas production in 2019 hit records with fewer rigs and wells

Increases in drilling efficiency pushed U.S. crude oil and natural gas production to establish new records of 12.2 million barrels per day (b/d) and 111.5 billion cubic feet per day (Bcf/d), respectively, in 2019. Using preliminary data for 2019, the average active rig count per month was 943, and the average count of new wells drilled per month was 1,400, according to Baker Hughes rig data and IHS Markit well data. Both the number of active rigs and the number of wells drilled were at their lowest levels in more than 45 years, despite the record production. One factor that has contributed to the increase in production has been the ability to contact more of the formation using horizontal drilling. The average footage drilled per well was 15,000 feet per well in 2019, reflecting longer horizontal well lengths.
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