US: Baker Hughes Rig Count

December 11, 2020 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
North America 449 425
U.S. 338 323
Gulf of Mexico 13 13
Canada 111 102

The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 24 rigs in the December 11 week to 449. The U.S. rig count is up 15 rigs from last week to 338 but is down 461 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 9 rigs from last week to 111 but, compared to last year, is down 42 rigs.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 12 at 258, gas rigs are up 4 at 79, and miscellaneous rigs are down 1 at 1. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 12 at 52 and gas rigs are down 3 at 59.

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).