US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Sep 29 12:00:00 CDT 2017

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1153 1155
U.S. 940 935
Gulf of Mexico 22 19
Canada 213 220

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 2 rigs in the September 29 week to 1,153. The U.S. rig count is up 5 rigs on the week at 940 and is up 418 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 7 rigs at 213 but is up 51 rigs from last year.

For the US count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 6 rigs at 750 while gas rigs are down 1 at 189. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 9 at 113 and gas rigs are up 2 at 100.

Rigs being brought back into operation after being taken out of commission by Hurricane Harvey did not significantly impact the count. Texas rigs were down 2 at 451 and Louisiana rigs were up 2 at 67.

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).