US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

January 20, 2017 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1036 974
U.S. 694 659
Gulf of Mexico 23 24
Canada 342 315

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 62 in the January 20 week to 1,036. The U.S. rig count is up 35 to 694 and is up 57 rigs from last year. The Canadian rig count is up 27 from last week to 342, and compared to last year is up 92.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 29 to 551, gas rigs are up 6 to 142 and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 1. Canadian oil rigs are up 23 to 193, gas rigs are up 5 to 149 and miscellaneous rigs are down 1 to 0.

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).