Baker Hughes: US rig count drops for sixth time in 8 weeks

Sept. 22, 2017
The US rig count during the week ended Sept. 22 declined for the sixth time in 8 weeks, again anchored by a drop in oil-directed rigs.

The US rig count during the week ended Sept. 22 declined for the sixth time in 8 weeks, again anchored by a drop in oil-directed rigs.

Baker Hughes’ overall tally of active rigs in the US edged down a unit to 935, down 23 units since a peak of the drilling rebound on July 28 (OGJ Online, Sept. 15, 2017). The count is still up 531 units from a modern-day bottom in Baker Hughes data during the weeks ended May 20-27, 2016.

US oil-directed rigs dropped by 5 to 744, down 24 units since Aug. 11 and up 428 units since May 27, 2016. That loss was mostly offset by a 4-unit gain in gas-directed rigs to 190, their second-highest total since 2015. The highest occurred on July 28. One rig considered unclassified remains drilling.

Two onshore rigs went offline, with rigs engaged in horizontal drilling losing 5 units to 790, down 20 units since July 28 and up 476 since May 27, 2016. Rigs drilling directionally increased 3 units to 77.

The count of rigs drilling in inland waters dropped by 1 to 3. Two rigs started work offshore Louisiana, bringing the overall US offshore count to 19.

The offshore gain propelled Louisiana to No. 1 among the major oil- and gas-producing states in increases. Up 3 units this week, Louisiana now has 65 rigs working.

Texas, New Mexico, and Alaska each rose a unit to 453, 68, and 5, respectively.

Despite losses in most of the other major oil and gas regions, the Permian spiked 6 units to 386, its highest point since Feb. 6, 2015. Since its low point in recent Baker Hughes data on May 13, 2016, the Permian has risen 252 units. Permian growth, however, has slowed since the beginning of the summer.

The Eagle Ford dropped 3 units to 68, down 18 units since the peak of its rebound on June 2. The Haynesville and Granite Wash each lost a unit to respective counts of 45 and 14.

Colorado and the DJ-Niobrara each fell 2 units to 33 and 26, respectively.

Oklahoma and North Dakota each declined 3 units to respective totals of 127 and 49. The Cana Woodford edged down 1 to 63, while the Arkoma Woodford gained 1 unit to 9. As with its home state, the Williston fell 3 units to 49. The Cana Woodford and Williston are yet to take big losses during the recent US drilling decline.

In its Drilling Productivity Report, which factors in rig-count shifts, the US Energy Information Administration said this week that it expects continued oil production gains during October from the Permian, Niobrara, Anadarko, and Bakken (OGJ Online, Sept. 18, 2017).

After a third consecutive weekly increase, Canada has again matched the high point in its rig count since last March. Up 8 units, Canada now has 220 rigs working, up 40 units since May 12. Oil-directed rigs gained 10 units for the second straight week and now total 122. Gas-directed rigs dropped 2 units to 98.

Contact Matt Zborowski at [email protected].