US Drilling Boom Stalls for Oil, Gas
By Harry Kimball, Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2009 3:10 PM CDT
A drilling site near Gorham, Kan.   (AP Photo)

(Newser) – It doesn't pay to drill, baby, drill anymore. Falling world prices have brought an end to the boom in domestic drilling for oil and natural gas, the New York Times reports. Last summer, 2,400 gas and oil rigs were deployed in the hunt for energy. Today, that figure is 1,200 and still dropping. “The big bonanza is over,” said one Texas driller whose company has gone from 35 rigs to 8. “Everyone is really shocked how fast everything has turned.”

Thousands of workers have been laid off, with the cutbacks especially pronounced for natural gas. Analysts worry that if companies cut back too severely, they won't be able to respond quickly if demand picks up. One oil exec said it could take up to 2 years to assemble crews again. “Inevitably, the market doesn’t react,” said one analyst. “It overreacts and shoots itself in the foot.”

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Showing 3 of 3 comments
Doctor-Zaius
Mar 16, 2009 11:09 AM CDT
This was a speculative bubble brought to us by our friends at Wall St. There was no reason for Oil to go up to $147 per barrel so when production increased to meet the high price it was only a matter of time before the bubble popped. In a lot of ways this bubble was caused by the housing bubble. High stakes investors were exiting the stock market because of the looming popping of the housing bubble and they ran to commodities and crude oil was their favorite.
Doctor-Zaius
Mar 16, 2009 11:06 AM CDT
Once again you are wrong Mr. Plumber.
Riffran
Mar 15, 2009 12:32 PM CDT
Has anybody else noted that everytime oil gets too high, and the U.S. starts to "Wake the F-up, and get on the much needed renewable energy wagon"....oil prices go down as if by MAGIC....and OPEC and all the other big oil entities,(both here and abroad)....loosen the grip?......Kinda like a crack dealer giving away a little product to the junkie thats trying to get clean