Drilling Costs Rise in Marcellus/Utica; Workforce Becomes Issue

The petrochemical conference in Pittsburgh earlier this week wasn’t the only event in town. The DUG (Developing Unconventional Gas) East conference and exposition took place at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, several blocks from the petchem event. The reporting from one session in particular caught our attention. A panel of drillers and service companies (upstream focus) talked about the prices that service companies (that is, oilfield service companies, like Halliburton and Baker Hughes) charge has gone up 10-15% over rates from last year, when service companies had to slash prices. While that’s good for service companies, but not so good for drillers and may, yet again, lead to a decline in active rig counts. The panel also discussed the increasingly critical shortage of workers in the Marcellus/Utica industry…

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