US: Baker-Hughes Rig Count

October 12, 2018 12:00 CDT

Actual Previous
N. Amer. Rig Count 1258 1234
U.S. 1063 1052
Gulf of Mexico 22 22
Canada 195 182

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 24 rigs in the October 12 week to 1,258. The U.S. rig count is up 11 rigs to 1,063 and is up 135 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 13 rigs from last week to 195 but, compared to last year, is down 17 rigs.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 8 at 869, gas rigs are up 4 at 193 and miscellaneous rigs are down 1 at 1. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 8 at 127 and gas rigs are up 5 at 68.

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).