For the first time in more than two decades, The Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors has released a revised forecast for drilling activity in ’09.

The revised forecast predicts drilling will decrease by 34 thousand operating days. CAODC says the downgrade is necessary because the weekly rig counts are now tracking significantly off the forecast released in October of last year.

An average of 262 rigs will be drilling in 2009. As a result from the anticipated decrease, 3,100 less wells will be completed.

A bit of hope is predicted for the third quarter of the year, where an average of 267 rigs drilling is projected.