US: Baker Hughes Rig Count

December 30, 2022 12:00 CST

Actual Previous
North America 863 875
U.S. 779 779
Gulf of Mexico 15 15
Canada 84 96

The Baker Hughes North American rig count fell 12 rigs to 863 in the Dec. 30 week from a week ago and rose 187 from 676 a year ago. Rigs have generally been trending higher from a low of 278 in late June 2020.

The U.S. rig count is flat from last week at 779 and up 193 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 12 rigs from last week at 84 and compared to last year is down 6 rigs. The Gulf of Mexico rig count is flat at 15 in the latest week from last week, and flat from a year ago.

For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 1 at 621, gas rigs are up 1 at 156, and miscellaneous rigs are flat at 2. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 7 at 25 and gas rigs are down 5 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).