The rise in the Saudi Aramco oil rig count had been evolving over a long period. “You need to drill more wells if you are producing 10 million barrels per day and maintaining your spare capacity. It is also a natural phenomenon in the oil business that the more you produce, the more you deplete your reserves and the more rapidly your field capacity declines. You need to drill more wells more frequently, simply to maintain production capacity.”

Sadad al-Husseini, a former senior executive at Aramco