US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Sep 15 12:00:00 CDT 2017

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1148 1146
U.S. 936 944
Gulf of Mexico 17 16
Canada 212 202

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 2 rigs in the September 15 week at 1,148, as a Hurricane Harvey related decline in the number of rigs in the U.S., mostly in Texas and Louisiana, was more than offset by an increase in Canada. The U.S. rig count is down 8 rigs on the week at 936 but is up 430 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 10 rigs at 212 and is up 80 rigs from last year.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 7 rigs at 756 while gas rigs are down 1 rig at 186. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 10 rigs at 102 and gas rigs remain unchanged at 100.

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).