US Spending $150B+ to Drill New Oil & Gas Wells Each Year

The American Petroleum Institute has a pretty good handle on just how much money is spent each year on drilling new oil and gas wells. According to a recently released report for last year (takes a long time to compile these numbers, apparently), there were 46,736 oil and natural gas wells drilled in 2012. We don’t know the breakdown of conventional (vertical only) vs. unconventional (shale) wells drilled, but we suspect the vast majority drilled were conventional, even though shale is all the rage these days. It’s far cheaper to drill a conventional well than an unconventional well.

Speaking of cost, it took an estimated $153.7 billion (that’s with a “b”) to drill those 46.7K wells. Yikes! Shale drilling, according to the API, represented about one-third of those costs (again, that doesn’t mean it was 1/3 of the total wells drilled because drilling economics for conventional/unconventional are vastly different). We have the API press release below, which we found interesting. But here’s what you won’t read in that press release, something we heard at the recent Platts Global Energy Outlook Forum a few weeks ago…

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