US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

October 5, 2018 12:00 CDT

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1234 1232
U.S. 1052 1054
Gulf of Mexico 22 18
Canada 182 178

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 2 rigs in the October 5 week to 1,234. The U.S. rig count is down 2 rigs to 1,052 but is up 116 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 4 rigs from last week to 182 but, compared to last year, is down 27 rigs.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 2 at 861, gas rigs remain unchanged at 189 and miscellaneous rigs are unchanged at 2. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 3 at 119 but gas rigs are up 7 at 63.

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).