US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

January 13, 2017 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 974 870
U.S. 659 665
Gulf of Mexico 24 23
Canada 315 205

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 104 in the January 13 week to 974. The U.S. rig count is down 6 to 659 but is up 9 rigs from last year. The Canadian rig count is up 110 from last week to 315, and compared to last year is up 88.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 7 to 522, gas rigs are up 1 to 136, and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 1. Canadian oil rigs are up 89 to 170, gas rigs are up 21 to 144 and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 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).