US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Dec 22 12:00:00 CST 2017

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1141 1168
U.S. 931 930
Gulf of Mexico 19 19
Canada 210 238

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 27 rigs in the December 22 week to 1,141, plunging as a large decline for Canada masked a minimal increase in the U.S., more than reversing last week's surge higher that was also driven by the volatile Canadian count. The U.S. rig count is up 1 rig from last week to 931 and is up 278 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 28 rigs from last week to 210 and is down 14 rigs compared to last year.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil remained unchanged at 747 and gas rigs are up 1 at 184. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 14 to 120 and gas rigs are also down 14 to 90.

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).