Total rigs engaged in the drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. increased for the week ending March 19, 2021, with the total jumping up 9 to 411. Land rigs were responsible for all 9, going from 389 to 398. The offshore rig count was flat with 13 rigs running. The Inland Waters rig count remained at zero.
Oil Rig Count:
The US crude oil rig count INCREASED by 9 Rigs, from 309 to 318 for the week. There are 346 fewer rigs targeting oil than last year.
US oil rigs tested an all-time high of 1,609 in October 2014. The total U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981.
Natural Gas Rig Count:
The natural gas rig count was flat, with 92 rigs running. The number of rigs drilling for gas is 14 rigs fewer than last year’s count.
Rig Count – State Highlights
Texas lost one rig to 202, 195 below the 397 at work statewide last March. Texas was the only producing state to post a decline this week.
New Mexico jumped seven rigs to 67 and was joined by Louisiana and North Dakota as producing states to gain rigs. Oklahoma remained flat with 16 rigs running.
Rig Count – Basin Activity
The Permian Basin added four rigs for 216 at work in the region, 189 below the 405 active last year.
Lea County, New Mexico, was the most active county in the Permian, rising seven – the biggest jump among Permian counties – to 37. Eddy County, New Mexico, followed with 30 rigs, unchanged for the week.
Midland County had 23 rigs at work within county lines, up one. Reeves County had 21 rigs, down one for the week. Howard County reported 19 rigs, unchanged for the week. Loving County had 15 rigs, unchanged. Martin County dropped four – the steepest decline among Permian counties – to 14. Upton County was unchanged at 12 rigs.
The largest increases by major basins were in the Gulf Coast (up six to 50) and the DJ Basin (up two to 15).
In the Gulf Coast, half of the week-over-week increase was in Webb County, Texas, where operators are showing renewed interest in gas windows of the Eagle Ford and Austin Chalk. SM Energy ramped to two rigs after averaging one rig last year. Cimarex Energy also made an appearance in the data, with one rig drilling a vertical well targeting an unknown formation in the southwest corner of Webb County. The company hasn’t spudded a well in the county since 2011 and has yet to drill a horizontal. Lewis Energy added the third rig week-over-week after it averaged one over the last five months. Before that, it hadn’t spudded a well in the region since September 2019. Laredo Energy and EOG Resources are also running rigs in Webb County.
In the DJ Basin, Bison Oil & Gas ended its six-month drilling holiday by adding a rig in March. The other addition was due to rig downtime the prior week. The basin is also up by five rigs month over month.
The total rig count fell to a record low of 244
rigs during the week ended Aug. 14, 2020
Oil ends higher but suffers largest weekly loss since October
Oil futures ended higher Friday, for the first time in six sessions, buoyed in part by growing tensions in the Middle East.
Prices, however, logged their largest weekly loss since October as worries over renewed lockdowns and a sluggish vaccine rollout in parts of Europe threaten energy demand.
Reports Friday that an oil facility in Saudi Arabia was attacked by drones helped lift prices to session highs. Aljazeera reported that Saudi Arabia said drones struck an oil facility in the capital of Riyadh Friday and ignited a fire, though authorities did not name the facility.
The news “helped stop the oil correction bleeding,” said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group, but is likely to have only a short-term impact on prices.
Oil Price Summary
West Texas Intermediate crude for April delivery CL.1, +0.03% CLJ21, +0.03% rose $1.42, or 2.4%, to settle at $61.42 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, giving up earlier losses after touching a low at $58.94.
The April contract expires at the end of Monday’s session. The May WTI CLK21, +0.11%, the most-actively traded contract, tacked on $1.38, or 2.3%, at $61.44.
For the week, WTI crude lost 6.4%, while Brent declined by 6.8%, the largest declines since October for both benchmarks, following big losses on Thursday, when WTI plunged 7.1%, while Brent dropped 6.9% for its biggest one-day percentage loss since June.
Natural gas for April delivery NGJ21, +0.47% tacked on 2.2% to nearly $2.54 per million British thermal units, looking at a weekly decline of 2.5%.
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Featured Photo Credit: Jamie Rood.