Special Report: Improved oil, gas demand, price forecasts raise drilling rig trend

The US working drilling rig count has started to reverse its steep drop as expectations for crude and gas prices and demand have become more bullish.The Baker Hughes Inc. US rig count for the week ending Oct. 23 was 1,048, up 8 rigs from the previous week. Although this is down considerably from the 2,031 rigs working in September 2008, the count was up 172 rigs from the 2009 low point of 876 rigs in June.Recent oil prices have been above $70/bbl since reaching a low of about $32/bbl in December 2008 (Fig. 1). Spot gas prices at the Henry Hub have remained below $4/MMbtu, although gas future prices and the large MMbtu spread between oil and gas prices seem to indicate that gas prices will...

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