Look at the number of days from starting the well (spud) to reaching total depth on two wells:
16953, 440, Fidelity, Fladeland 11-15H, Sanish, t4/09; cum 163K 10/12; 29 days from spud to total depth; total depth = 16,100 feet;
23580, 1,295, Whiting, Iverson 41-14h, Sanish, t10/12; cum 6K 10/12; 12 days from spud to total depth; total depth = 16,576 feet;
That info is from Bruce Oksol at Million Dollar Way – Random Note On Drilling Times to Total Depth
Both wells hit total distance in the 16,000’ range. One took 12 days to drill that far and the other 29 days.
The time difference? April 2009 and October 2012. Three and a half years.
The drilling teams are using better equipment and better techniques and better I-don’t-know-what-else.
Now combine that with walking rigs and pad drilling (meaning multiple wells on one site). Having the rig side-step 50′ or 100′ or whatever the distance is, saves a lot of rig-up and rig-down time and lots of truck trips moving to a new site.
The productivity has to be shooting through the roof.
The number of rigs is dropping while the number of new completed wells is stable or increasing. That means the number of rigs in the field isn’t as relevant an indicator as before.
That’s why I stopped watching the number of rigs in Bakken and Eagle Ford.