US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

Fri Jun 15 12:00:00 CDT 2018

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1198 1174
U.S. 1059 1062
Gulf of Mexico 19 19
Canada 139 112

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 24 rigs in the June 15 week to 1,198, as a large increase in the volatile Canadian count, previously decimated by the seasonal "Spring Thaw," overshadowed a modest U.S. decline. The U.S. rig count is down 3 rigs from last week to 1,059 and is up 126 rigs last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 27 rigs from last week to 139 but is down 20 rigs compared to last year.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 1 at 863, gas rigs are down 4 at 194 and miscellaneous rigs remain unchanged at 2. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 18 at 87 and gas rigs are up 9 at 52.

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).