US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

February 3, 2017 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1072 1057
U.S. 729 712
Gulf of Mexico 21 20
Canada 343 345

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 15 in the February 3 week to 1,072. The U.S. rig count is up 17 to 729 and is up 158 rigs from last year. The Canadian count is down 2 from last week to 343, and compared to last year is up 101.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 17 to 583, gas rigs are unchanged at 145 and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 1. Canadian oil rigs down 3 to 197, gas rigs are up 1 to 146 and miscellaneous rigs remain at 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).