BHI: US rig count posts first decline in 24 weeks

After rising in 23 consecutive weeks, the overall US drilling rig count has finally given up a unit.

After rising in 23 consecutive weeks, the overall US drilling rig count has finally given up a unit.

Baker Hughes Inc.’s tally of active rigs for the week ended June 30 edged down 1 unit to 940, representing its first decline since Jan. 13. During the hot streak, the count climbed 282 units, continuing a drilling rebound that stretches back to May-June 2016 and resulted in 537 more units starting up overall before this week (OGJ Online, June 23, 2017).

Oil-directed rigs dropped 2 units this week to 756, also their first loss in 24 weeks. During the streak, the oil-directed count added 234 units. Gas-directed rigs, meanwhile, edged up 1 unit to 184, an increase of 103 since Aug. 26, 2016.

The slight decrease in drilling follows last week’s big declines in crude production resulting in part from Gulf of Mexico evacuations ahead of Tropical Storm Cindy and maintenance in Alaska. During the week ended June 23, US production dived 100,000 b/d to 9.25 million b/d, with the Lower 48 losing 55,000 b/d and Alaska losing 45,000 b/d, according to US Energy Information Administration data.

One offshore rig stopped work this week near Alaska, bringing the overall US offshore count to 21. Offsetting movement kept the onshore count level at 915.

Colorado’s count also dropped 1 unit and now totals 36. The DJ-Niobrara was down 1 unit to 27. In Oklahoma, the Cana Woodford relinquished 1 unit to 59, while the Arkoma Woodford rose 1 unit to 9.

Texas posted an increase for the first time in about a month, collecting 1 unit to lift its tally to 461, up 288 units since its low point in recent BHI data during May 20-27, 2016. The Permian gained 1 unit to 370, up 236 units since its own recent low on May 13, 2016. The Haynesville, which stretches from North Louisiana into East Texas, also rose 1 unit and now counts 41.

Canada’s seasonal spike continued with a seventh straight weekly increase. Up 19 units to 189, the count since May 12 has added 109 units, most of which are targeting oil. The oil count jumped 14 units this week to 112, while gas-directed rigs rose 5 units to 77.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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