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US Shale Drilling Activity Slowed in 2H 2018

After peaking in mid-2018, U.S. fracking activity slowed in the second half of 2018, according to a report released Jan. 7 by Rystad Energy.

The nation’s shale drilling activity was stable from April to August 2018 with an average daily level of 48 to 50 fracked wells. However, activity slipped to 44 jobs per day in November 2018.

“After reaching a peak in May/June 2018, fracking activity in the Permian has gradually decelerated throughout the second half of 2018,” Rystad Energy senior analyst Lai Lou stated in the report.

Lou added that seasonal activity deceleration began in November for all major plays except the Eagle Ford.

But some operators weren’t a part of the deceleration as the report notes major ExxonMobil experienced a strong uptick in fracking activity in October 2018. Energen Corporation was also unmoved by the slowdown.

“In general, many of the key operators have exhibited a largely flat trend from June to October 2018, which implies that the market-wide deceleration in fracking activity has a more significant implication for smaller operators in contrast to the major players in the Permian,” Lai said. “In terms of absolute numbers, the reduction in the number of jobs for top 10 operators collectively is around 10 percent from June to October while the corresponding percentage for the remaining operators is as high as 48 percent in the same timeframe.”

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