The number of wells drilled in the Permian Basin are expected to grow over 58% from 2016 – 2017, increasing to 4,255 wells. In early 2017, the Permian Basin was the most economically viable play in the U.S., garnering tens of billions of dollars of investments and holding the majority of active drilling rigs in Texas, despite the persistence of low oil prices.


The advantages of the Permian Basin over other areas of the U.S. are expected to continue to contribute to above-average prospects for growth in drilling activity over the next year. These and other trends are presented in Texas Oil & Gas Drilling Outlook, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.


Footage drilled in the Permian Basin is forecast to increase to 65 million feet in 2017, with average well total depths at around 15,300 feet. While average lateral length for horizontal wells is expected to increase, the number of vertical wells drilled in the region will increase as well, offsetting the effect of rising lateral length on the overall average total depth.


According to Analyst Dan Debelius, “An average of 258 drilling rigs are expected to be active in the Permian Basin in 2017, up from 166 in 2016.  Rig efficiency is expected to continue to increase in 2017 and 2018, as technological advances continue (though at a slower pace than over the past few years).”


More information about the study is available here.