BHI: Oklahoma, New Mexico leaders in 11-unit US rig count gain

Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford and the New Mexico Permian served as the primarily catalysts behind the 21st consecutive US rig count increase.

Oklahoma’s Cana Woodford and the New Mexico Permian served as the primarily catalysts behind the 21st consecutive US rig count increase.

Baker Hughes Inc.’s tally of active rigs for the week ended June 9 jumped 11 units to 927, up 523 since a nadir in recent BHI data on May 20-27, 2016, and its highest level since May 1, 2015. Since May 27, 2016, the count has risen in all but 5 weeks (OGJ Online, June 2, 2017). Over the past 21 weeks, it has climbed 268 units.

Oil-directed rigs rose 8 units to 741, up 425 since May 27, 2016, and its highest point since Apr. 10, 2015. Gas-directed rigs increased 3 units to 185, up 104 since last Aug. 26 in their own rebound. One rig considered unclassified remained drilling this week.

US oil production during the week ended June 2 declined 24,000 b/d to average 9.32 million b/d, according to data from the US Energy Information Administration. The Lower 48 fell 20,000 b/d while Alaska dropped 4,000 b/d.

In the June edition of its Short-Term Energy Outlook, however, EIA said this week that it expects US oil production in 2018 to average 10 million b/d, surpassing the previous annual production record of 9.6 million b/d set in 1970 (OGJ Online, June 7, 2017).

Production is forecast to ramp up in particular during this year’s fourth quarter with a quarter-over-quarter expansion of 330,000 b/d. The agency maintains a forecast of 9.3 million b/d for 2017.

The rising production through 2018 is supported by continued increases in drilling activity in shale regions, particularly in Texas where the Permian remains red hot and the Eagle Ford has resumed output growth, EIA said.

Onshore rigs gained 13 units this week to 902, bolstered as usual by rigs drilling horizontally, which increased 9 units to 780, up 466 since May 20-27, 2016. Horizontal rigs now represent 84.1% of the total rig count. Rigs drilling directionally declined 2 units to 66.

Offshore rigs and those drilling in inland waters each dropped 1 unit to 22 and 3, respectively.

Active week countrywide

Oklahoma’s 5-unit increase to 131 led the major oil- and gas-producing states. The Sooner State has gained 77 units since June 24, 2016, and is at its highest point since Mar. 27, 2015. The Cana Woodford contributed 4 units and now totals 60, up 36 since June 24, 2016. The Granite Wash and Mississippian each rose a unit to 10 and 9, respectively, while the Ardmore Woodford lost its only active rig.

New Mexico tallied 4 units to 59, reflecting a 4-unit rise in the Permian to 368. New Mexico has increased 46 units since Mar. 13, 2016, and has its most rigs working since Mar. 6, 2015. The Permian has climbed 234 units since May 13, 2016.

Ohio and West Virginia each added 2 units to total 27 and 13, respectively. The Marcellus and Utica were each up 2 units to 45 and 28, respectively. The Marcellus has gained 24 units since last Aug. 12, while the Utica has risen 18 units since May 20, 2016.

Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Wyoming, and Utah each increased a unit to 64, 34, 26, and 9, respectively. Wyoming has climbed 19 units since last July 1. The Haynesville edged up 1 unit to 41, up 28 since Sept. 30.

Recently surging Colorado and the DJ-Niobrara each dropped 1 unit to respective counts of 34 and 27. Although it gained 1 offshore rig, Alaska’s overall count fell 2 units to 5.

Texas decreased 3 units to 460, still up 287 since May 13, 2016. The Eagle Ford posted a rare recent loss, falling 2 units to 84, still up 53 since last Oct. 14. Texas also lost an offshore rig. The Barnett increased 1 unit to 8.

Up north, Canada’s rig count is heating up amid its seasonal rebound. Its 33-unit climb brought its overall tally to 132, up 52 since May 12. Oil-directed rigs gained 23 units to 74, while gas-directed rigs increased 10 units to 58.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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