US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Jan 05 12:00:00 CST 2018

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1098 1065
U.S. 924 929
Gulf of Mexico 17 18
Canada 174 136

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 33 rigs in the January 5 week to 1,098, boosted by a half-sized rebound in the Canadian count following the prior week's seasonal weather-related plunge. The U.S. rig count is down 5 rigs from last week to 924 and is up 259 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 38 rigs from last week to 174 and is down 31 rigs compared to last year.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 5 at 742 while gas rigs remain unchanged at 182. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 36 at 98 and gas rigs are up 2 at 76.

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).