Baker Hughes: US rig count drops for third time in 6 weeks

Aug. 4, 2017
The overall US rig count has recorded its largest decline since before the drilling rebound commenced in late May-early June of 2016.

The overall US rig count has recorded its largest decline since before the drilling rebound commenced in late May-early June of 2016.

Baker Hughes’ tally of active rigs in the US dropped 4 units during the week ended Aug. 4 to 954. However, this week’s downward movement was primarily supplied by gas-directed rigs, which also lifted last week’s count (OGJ Online, July 28, 2017). The overall count is still up 550 units since the bottom of the drilling dive on the weeks ended May 20-27, 2016.

US oil-directed rigs edged down a unit to 765, also their third drop of the past 6 weeks, during which time they’ve added just 7 units. They’re still up 449 units since May 27, 2016.

Gas-directed rigs fell 3 units to 189, mostly stagnant since May but still up 108 units since last Aug. 26.

Three units started work on land. However, the tally of rigs drilling horizontally declined for the just the second time in 38 weeks, shedding 3 units to 807, still up 493 units since May 20-27, 2016. The offshore count dived 7 units to 17.

US crude oil production, meanwhile, continues to rise according to preliminary estimates from the US Energy Information Administration. Output during the week ended July 28 rose 20,000 b/d to 9.43 million b/d, up 970,000 b/d year-over-year. The Lower 48 contributed 25,000 b/d while Alaska dropped 5,000 b/d.

In EIA’s more-accurate monthly report based on its EIA-914 survey of producers, the agency indicated that May production averaged 9.17 million b/d, up 60,000 b/d from April. Weekly preliminary data for the month, however, put average May output above 9.3 million b/d, indicating that, for a second straight month, more-accurate survey data lagged behind preliminary weekly data.

Texas drilling rises

Despite the overall US declines for the week, Texas recorded a 4-unit jump in its rig count and now totals 466, up 293 since May 20-27, 2016. Texas drilling growth has been mostly stagnant since May.

The recently struggling Eagle Ford posted its first increase in 10 weeks, rising 2 units to 78, down 8 units since June 2 but up 47 units since last Oct. 14.

Alaska gained a unit and now totals 6. Elsewhere, the DJ-Niobrara edged up a unit to 30.

New Mexico and North Dakota each dropped a unit to 60 and 53, respectively. Accordingly, the Williston also was down a unit and counts 53.

Oklahoma lost 2 units to 132, still up 78 units since June 24, 2016. The Cana Woodford relinquished 3 units to 60, still up 36 units since June 24, 2016. The Arkoma Woodford and Mississippian each rose a unit to 10 and 7, respectively.

Reflecting the offshore dive, Louisiana led the major oil- and gas-producing states with a 5-unit drop to 67.

Canada’s rig count decreased by 3 this week to 217, still up 137 since May 12 and up 95 year-over-year. Oil-directed rigs shed 5 units to 124, while gas-directed rigs gained 2 units to 93.

Contact Matt Zborowski at [email protected].