US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

January 6, 2017 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 870 815
U.S. 665 658
Gulf of Mexico 23 22
Canada 205 157

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 55 in the January 6 week to 870. The U.S. rig count is up 7 to 665 and is up 1 rig from last year. The Canadian rig count is up 48 from last week to 205, and compared to last year is up 39.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 4 to 529, gas rigs are up 3 to 132, and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 1. Canadian oil rigs are up 29 to 81, gas rigs are up 23 to 123, and miscellaneous rigs are down 4 to 1.

The Baker Hughes North American rig count tracks weekly changes in the number of active operating oil & gas rigs. Used for drilling wellbores for wells that may eventually produce oil or gas, active rigs are essential for the exploration and development of oil and gas fields. Rigs that are not active are not counted. Components in the data are the United States and Canada with a separate count for the Gulf of Mexico (which is a subset of the U.S. total). The count includes only rigs that are significant users of oilfield services and supplies.

Changes in rig counts point to changes in the supply of oil & gas. The higher the rig count, the greater the upward pressure is on oil & gas supply and in turn the greater the downward pressure is on oil & gas prices. The reverse applies when rig counts turn lower, as they did during the oil price collapse of 2014-15 when lower counts contributed to a subsequent decline in domestic oil inventories. Data on the Gulf of Mexico offer indications on production disruptions during the hurricane season (June 1st to November 30th).