US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Oct 06 12:00:00 CDT 2017

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1145 1153
U.S. 936 940
Gulf of Mexico 22 22
Canada 209 213

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 8 rigs in the October 6 week to 1,145. The U.S. rig count is down 4 rigs on the week but is up 412 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 4 rigs at 209 but is up 44 rigs from last year.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 2 rigs at 748 and gas rigs are also down 2 rigs at 187. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 1 rig at 112 and gas rigs are down 3 rigs at 97.

The rig count in states impacted by Hurricane Harvey decreased, contrary to some expectations, with Texas rigs down 3 rigs at 448 while the count in Louisiana was down 1 rig at 66.

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).