US oil and gas well completions in the fourth quarter of 2015 fell 51% from the total of the comparable quarter a year earlier, reports American Petroleum Institute.
Estimated development oil well completions were down 55%, and development gas well completions, down 37%.
For 2015 relative to 2014 levels, total well completions were down 35%. Oil well completions were down 37%, and gas well completions, down 28%.
Total footage drilled was down 27% in 2015.
API also reported that spending on US drilling in 2014 totaled $168.7 billion, according to the Joint Association Survey on Drilling Costs. The expenditure was for an estimated 46,488 oil and gas wells, up 3.22% from the 2013 total.
Spending on wells targeting oil accounted for 71.4% of the 2014 outlay, compared with 65.1% in 2013. Drilling on gas wells represented 21.7% of drilling expenditure in 2014, compared with 29.1% in 2013.
Spending on development wells totaled $138.4 billion in 2014. Exploratory well expenditures totaled $5.3 billion.
Shale drilling accounted for 48.6% of the 2014 total, compared with 63.5% in 2013.
Spending on offshore production dropped to 0.6% of total oil and gas production expenditure in 2014 from 4% in 2013.