The number of drilled but uncompleted wells (DUCs) that accumulated at the height of the pandemic has already subsided to pre-Covid-19 levels in the US, a Rystad Energy analysis shows. After swelling to a multi-year high of 6,548 wells in June 2020, the number of such wells in the country’s major oil regions* slimmed down to around 5,700 wells by the end of December 2020. The inventory of ‘live’ DUCs, which excludes tentatively abandoned wells drilled a long time ago, also declined by around 800 wells in the same period, from 4,353 in June to 3,528 in December. The current level of horizontal oil ‘live’ DUC count is comparable to the level seen in early 2020, just before the market downturn started. “Given the recent recovery in oil prices, the industry is enjoying the flexibility of further accelerating fracking activity beyond current levels in the first half of the […]