World Land Drilling Rig Market Forecast 2017-2021


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The report is essential reading for companies wanting to better understand where and when to make investment decisions, giving a detailed understanding of the outlook for land drilling rig market at both a macro and granular level. The report includes analysis for oil & gas production, onshore wells drilled, active drilling rigs required, forecast rig utilisation, fleet capacity & features, plus the competitive landscape.

North America to lead a sustained recovery in the global land drilling rig market over 2017-2021

Westwood’s most recent edition of the World Land Drilling Rig Market Forecast is now available. The report features a comprehensive summary of the market at both the country and regional level, including: onshore wells drilled, rig fleet growth, active drilling rigs required by HP category, and further key trends within the market.

Global Rig Fleet and Drilling Utilisation, 2017-2021Global Rig Fleet and Drilling Utilisation, 2017-2021

  • Westwood expects to see a recovery in the market in 2017, led by a return to growth in North American onshore drilling activity, following anticipated upward movement in oil prices and a return of investor confidence in US shale plays.
  • The global number of rigs drilling is forecast to increase at a 7% CAGR over the next five years to reach 4,463 units by 2021.
  • The global capable fleet size is expected to rise by 154 units over 2017-2021, with North America accounting for 39% of this growth.
  • Outside of North America, the number of rigs drilling in Latin America is forecast to rise at a 5% CAGR through to 2021, following a significant decline in drilling activity over 2014-2016.
  • Rig demand in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) is also expected to grow over the next five years, with the regional capable fleet forecast to increase by 43 units over 2017-2021.
  • The oil price downturn, and subsequent reduction in drilling activity, has had a severe impact on the global land rig market, with the global number of rigs drilling having declined by 44% over 2014-2016.


Since producing the previous edition of the report, Westwood has completed a full review and update of its unique global fleet data comprising over 13,000 land rigs. Country analysis for Bolivia has been added to the report along with continued improved visibility of difficult-to-access markets such as Russia, Iran and Indonesia.

The new report features a more detailed breakdown of the number of rigs drilling in terms of HP category (0-499 HP, 500-999 HP, 1,000-1,499 HP, 1,500-1,999 HP, 2,000-2,999 HP, and 3,000 + HP).

The report also provides a matrix of drilling contractors operating within each region, including overall fleet size, composition, and countries of operation in each contractor’s fleet.

Following a 69% decline in onshore wells drilled over 2014-2016, activity in North America witnessed a resurgence in the second half of 2016, following a period of relative stability in commodity prices, and the announcement in November 2016 of planned cuts to production by OPEC member states. This trend has continued into the first half of 2017, however, Westwood expects growth in the near-term to be constrained by the speed at which rigs can be re-activated and crews re-hired. Given the anticipated upward movement in oil prices, the focus within the industry is likely to be on the ability of contractors to supply additional high-specification units to the market in a cost-effective and efficient manner.

Outside of North America, Westwood expects to see a recovery in drilling activity in Latin America over the next five years, driven by the development of the Vaca Muerta shale play in Argentina, as well as an increase in investment in drilling activity at the Orinoco Belt in Venezuela. Drilling activity in MENA is also forecast to rise over 2017-2021, with a return to more robust growth in 2018-2019 as the focus of the region’s OPEC producers returns to increasing output, following the implementation of the production adjustments. Key projects expected to contribute to growth in rig demand within the region include Iran’s development of oilfields along the border with Iraq, as well as Kuwait’s Heavy Oil Project and Jurassic Gas Project.

Interested in viewing our global database of land drilling rigs?

Contact Gareth Hector, or call +44 1795 594 726 for more information on this or any other Westwood reports.

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