Baker Hughes Incorporated announced that the U.S. onshore well count for the first quarter 2014 was 8,853 wells, down 230 wells or 3% compared to the fourth quarter 2013. Compared to the first quarter 2013, the well count was up 319 wells or 4%. Due to improved drilling efficiencies, the average US onshore drilling rig now produces 3% more wells compared to the same quarter last year.
Compared to the fourth quarter 2013, the well count decreased most notably in the Eagle Ford (down 61 wells or 5%), Marcellus (down 52 wells or 9%), Barnett (down 47 wells or 13%), and Williston (down 30 wells or 4%) basins. These decreases were offset by increases in the Permian basin (up 23 wells or 1%).
The average US onshore rig count for the first quarter 2014 was 1,724 rigs, up 27 rigs from the fourth quarter 2013, and up 18 rigs from the first quarter 2013. On average, the US onshore rig fleet produced 5.14 new wells during the quarter, which represents a 3% improvement in drilling efficiencies compared to the same quarter in 2013.