US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Thu Mar 29 12:00:00 CDT 2018

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1127 1156
U.S. 993 995
Gulf of Mexico 12 13
Canada 134 161

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 29 rigs in the week to 1,127. The U.S. rig count is down 2 rigs from last week to 993 and is up 169 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count, which is subject to weather-related seasonality at this time of year, is down 27 rigs from last week to 134 and is down 21 rigs compared to last year.

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).