BHI: Permian drives gains in weekly, yearly US rig count

The US drilling rig count gained 8 units to reach 1,930 rigs working during the week ended Oct. 10, driven in large part by growth in the Permian basin, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

The US drilling rig count gained 8 units to reach 1,930 rigs working during the week ended Oct. 10, driven in large part by growth in the Permian basin, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.

The rise came on the heels of Raymond James & Associates Inc.’s Oct. 6 industry brief in which analysts noted that US land drilling activity has ramped up significantly over the past year, with the rig count now up 11% compared with the same time last year, despite falling oil prices over the last few months.

The pace of US drilling activity has exceeded RJA’s forecast from 4 months ago. Therefore the analyst is raising by 5% its average 2015 US rig count estimate to 1,965 rigs from 1,862 rigs, as well as its 2015 average horizontal rig year-over-year growth rate forecast to 11% from 6.1%.

This growth will be bolstered by expected exploration and production cash flow growth of 6% at the current futures strip.

The average US rig count for September was 1,930, up 26 units compared with August, and up 170 units compared with September 2013.

This week’s activity

The horizontal drilling rig count, which RJA describes as the best US oil field spending metric, jumped 12 units to 1,353 during the past week. As of Oct. 6, the year-over-year count was up 24%, with much of the growth attributed to activity in the Permian.

Land rigs during the past week were up 9 units to 1,859 while rigs drilling in inland waters were up 2 units to 13. Offshore rigs were down 3 units to 58.

Oils rigs jumped 18 units to 1,609. Gas rigs dipped 10 units to 320.

In Canada, a 10-unit loss to 420 reflected a 17-unit decline in oil rigs to 232 and a 7-unit gain in gas rigs to 188. Compared with this week a year ago, Canada has 63 more rigs working.

The average Canadian rig count for September totaled 406, up 7 compared with August, and up 19 compared with September 2013. The worldwide rig count for September, meanwhile, was 3,659, up 17 compared with August, and up 228 compared with September 2013.

Major states, basins

New Mexico’s 3-unit rise to 102 led the major oil- and gas-producing states. Wyoming, Ohio, and West Virginia each rose 2 units to 62, 42, and 32, respectively. Texas, Kansas, and Utah each edged up a unit to respective totals of 896, 25, and 24.

Unchanged from a week ago were Colorado and Alaska at 76 and 9, respectively.

Oklahoma, California, and Arkansas each edged down a unit to 211, 45, and 11. Louisiana and Pennsylvania each dropped 2 units to respective totals of 111 and 55. North Dakota lost 7 units to settle at 182.

The Permian’s 6-unit increase to 562 led the major US basins. The Utica saw a 3-unit rise to 46. Meanwhile, the Williston dropped 4 units to 194 and the Cana Woodford dropped 5 units to 37.

RJA describes the Permian as the focal point of robust US oil field activity growth, accounting for 54% of the total rig count growth year-over-year as of Oct. 6 and 52% of horizontal rig count growth. As of September just 59% of rigs in the basin are horizontal, leaving room for further expansion.

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