US Rig Count - December 7, 2018
Rig Count

Rig Count Update: December 7, 2018


Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported Friday its weekly rig count report.

It appears a dip in oil prices has affected drilling activity as the number of active rigs either declined or remained the same in all but one US onshore, oil-rich basin, being the Cana Woodford in Oklahoma which gained 2 new rigs.

The rig count in the Permian Basin was down four from the prior week, with 489 rigs active in the region. A year ago, 400 rigs were active in the region.

The Permian is the largest producing basin in the US, with an estimated average production of 3.9 million b/d of oil and 8.1 Bcf/d of dry gas, according to Platts Analytics. But pipeline and other takeaway capacity are limited and virtually match production.

The constraints have played havoc on oil and gas prices in the region. In the last two weeks alone, Waha cash prices have swung from as high as $3.85/MMBtu to a new all-time low of 45 cents/MMBtu November 27. Waha cash had rebounded somewhat to $2.12/MMBtu Thursday, which still was a $2.50 discount to Henry Hub. An explosion on DCP Midstream’s Sand Hill pipeline caused the large jump in cash about weeks ago, as dry gas production fell as much as 1.5 Bcf/d at one point, according to Platts Analytics.

Weekly Summary: Total rigs engaged in the exploration and production in the U.S. decreased by 1 for the week ended December 7, 2018, down to 1075Land rigs lost 1 down to 1050. The offshore rig count was flat at 23.   Rigs drilling in the inland waters remained the same at 2.

Oil Rig Count: The US crude oil rig count lost 10 from 887 down to 877 for the week. There are 126 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Rigs drilling for oil represent 81.50 percent of all drilling activity.

US oil rigs tested an all-time high of 1,609 in October 2014. In contrast, the rigs hit 316 in May 2016—the lowest level since the 1940s.

Natural Gas Rig Count: The natural gas rig count – which plunged to its lowest in August of 2017 –  gained 9 rigs rising to 198 rigs. The number of rigs drilling for gas is 18 rigs higher than last years count.Rig Count Infographic

Among major oil- and gas-producing states:


New Mexico picked up 2 new rigs, while Alaska, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Utah, and West Virginia all added one rig each.


Four states were unchanged this week, namely California,  Colorado, North Dakota and Wyoming


Oklahoma lost 3 rigs, Ohio and Texas lost 2 each, while Louisiana lost one rig.

Summary of Major Plays – Ranked By Rig Count

– Permian Basin 489 rigs compared to last week’s 493 rigs

– Eagle Ford 80 rigs compared to last week’s 79 rigs

– Cana Woodford 57 rigs compared to last week’s 55 rigs

– Williston 56 rigs compared to last week’s 56 rigs

– Marcellus 57 rigs compared to last week’s 56 rigs

– Haynesville 51 rigs compared to last week’s 52 rigs

– DJ-Niobrara 28 rigs compared to last week’s 29 rigs

– Utica 16 rigs compared to last week’s 17 rigs

– Granite Wash 15 rigs compared to last week’s 15 rigs

– Arkoma Woodford 7 rigs compared to last week’s 7 rigs

For more details on the latest national and state news regarding last Friday’s Baker Hughes rig count data, check out the interactive rig count dashboard on the Oklahoma Index tab of our website.

Tableau Rig Count Dashboard

Compiled and Published by GIB KNIGHT

Gib Knight is a private oil and gas investor and consultant, providing clients advanced analytics and building innovative visual business intelligence solutions to visualize the results, across a broad spectrum of regulatory filings and production data in Oklahoma and Texas. He is the founder of, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.

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