Now you see ’em; now you don’t.
Land drilling contractors are both adding and eliminating drilling rigs as the U.S. fleet undergoes transformation.
Publicly held land drilling contractors announced 174 newbuild rigs in 2011, capped by the stunning 77 newbuilds in aggregate disclosed during second quarter 2011 earnings calls. In theory, those additions should move 2012 rig count higher by something like 150 units, or about 10%, as new builds exit manufacturing queues for field deployment — assuming the gas market doesn’t collapse.
But what the market giveth, the market ...