BHI: US rig count climbs for 20th straight week

The number of active drilling rigs spread across the US has increased in 20 straight weeks, according to data compiled by Baker Hughes Inc.

The number of active drilling rigs spread across the US has increased in 20 straight weeks, according to data compiled by Baker Hughes Inc.

The overall US count gained 8 units during the week ended June 2 to 916, up 512 since a low point in recent BHI data on May 20-27, 2016, and its highest point since Apr. 24, 2015. Over the past 20 weeks, the tally has surged up 257 units (OGJ Online, May 26, 2017).

Oil-directed rigs jumped 11 units to 733, up 417 since their recent bottom on May 27, 2016. Gas-directed rigs, which led last week’s US gain, dropped 3 units to 182, still up 101 since Aug. 26. One rig considered unclassified remains drilling in the US.

All 8 units to come online are land-based, bringing that count to 889. Rigs drilling horizontally increased 5 units to 771, up 457 since May 20-27, 2016. Rigs drilling directionally rose 3 units to 68. Offshore rigs and those drilling in inland waters remained at 23 and 4, respectively, this week.

US Energy Information Administration data for the week ended May 26 shows US crude oil production increased 22,000 b/d to 9.34 million b/d. Of the increase, 20,000 b/d came from the Lower 48 and 2,000 b/d from Alaska.

Analysts at Rystad Energy believe US oil production could reach 10 million b/d before Dec. 31, approaching the record high posted in November 1970. In the industry consulting firm’s monthly report on oil market trends, the analysts see US output rising 95,000 b/d each month this year propelled by shale drilling, with modest growth from Gulf of Mexico deepwater fields offsetting declines from other conventional fields.

Texas’s half of US drilling

More than half of all active US rigs reside in Texas, where the count collected 5 more units during the week to 463, an increase of 290 since May 20-27, 2016. The Permian did its usual part to supply the rebound with a 2-unit gain to 364, up 230 since May 13, 2016.

Oklahoma rose 3 units to 126, up 72 since June 24, 2016. The Mississippian, however, declined a unit to 8. North Dakota, Colorado, and Ohio each increased a unit to 46, 35, and 25, respectively. Accordingly, the Williston, DJ-Niobrara, and Utica also each rose a unit to respective totals of 46, 28, and 26.

New Mexico and Pennsylvania each dropped 2 units to 55 and 33, respectively. Primarily pushing down the overall US gas-directed rig count, the Marcellus lost 2 units to 43, still up 22 since Aug. 12.

Canada’s seasonal drilling rebound further commenced with a 6-unit rise to 99, down 253 since Feb. 10. An 11-unit spike in oil-directed rigs to 51 was partially offset by a 5-unit decrease in gas-directed rigs to 48.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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