Wednesday, July 17, 2013
The above shows the most recent weekly oil rig counts for the United States (the data are from Baker Hughes). The huge boom in drilling peaked in the middle of 2012. There was then a small decline through the early months of 2013. That has since been partly made up - rig count is still not back to the level of mid 2012.
So at least for the time being, the US rig count appears to have stabilized around the 1400 level. It seems this is unlikely to be consistent with large further increases in US oil production. However, production was still increasing as of the most recently available data from the EIA (April):
To get a better sense of the relative timing of things, here's the data just since the beginning of 2009, with both rig count and production in the same graph:
You can see (via the black line) that there's about a two year offset between the start of the drilling boom and the start of the production surge. If the leveling off in the drilling boom is similar, we might expect production to level off some time in 2014.