Trent Latshaw, President of Latshaw Drilling, said he has no doubt industry will push those numbers higher.
"We've been putting some of our additional rigs that had been laid down back to work," Mr Latshaw
said, noting that his
fleet utilization will reach 95% in Q2.
"Pretty soon, we're going to be out of rigs."
acquired Keen Energy Services in October 2012, "just as everybody ran out of budget money and had to shut rigs down.
We got caught up in that because not all of our rigs were under term contracts," Mr Latshaw
"In 2013, we were working through that, and people had new budget money, and oil prices actually stayed quite a bit higher than most people were anticipating throughout the year.
Activity started to pick up by late 2013, and Mr Latshaw
said that trend has continued into 2014.
"Almost 100% of what we're doing is horizontal," Mr Latshaw
"Every rig we have running has a top drive."
Further, "the rig du jour is 1,500 hp," Mr Latshaw
fleet includes some 1,000-hp rigs that are essentially drilling the same wells as a 1,500-hp rig would, and "we also have some 2,000-hp rigs doing the same, but ideally everybody wants a 1,500 hp," since the higher horsepower rigs typically have bigger - 1,600 hp - mud pumps, he
Another feature that operators are requesting is upgraded mud pumps, from 5,000 psi to 7,500 psi.
The increasing use of downhole motors, rotary steerables and the wellbore hydraulics associated with horizontal drilling are driving the demand for this increase, he
"We've been retrofitting quite a few of our existing rigs to put walking systems on them," Mr Latshaw
company now has 13 rigs with walking systems and 18 with skidding systems.
"There are a couple more rigs we are currently putting walking systems on.
That covers the majority of our fleet."
Operators are also trending toward bifuel capabilities to make use of natural gas directly from the fields.
"The operator, in most cases, is willing to pay to have the system put on rigs because it's to his
benefit of fuel savings," Mr Latshaw
For drilling contractors building new rigs, "it costs less than a couple hundred thousand dollars to put a (bifuel system) on a new rig that costs $17-$20 million," he
, Latshaw Drilling
: Lessons learned in setbacks lead to greater success