Rig Count

Rig Count Update January 21, 2018


West Texas’ surging Permian Basin continues to add new drilling activity, but that didn’t stop the nation’s overall oil rig count from falling by five rigs this week.

The Permian Basin, including eastern New Mexico, added six oil-seeking rigs, although drilling activity dipped in Texas outside of the Permian. Overall, Texas saw a net gain of one rig.

U.S. crude futures traded above $63 a barrel on Friday after hitting $64.89 this week, its highest since December 2014. That compares with averages of $50.85 in 2017 and $43.47 in 2016.

The question of whether the shale sector can continue at this pace remains an open debate. The rapid growth has stirred concerns that the industry is already peaking and that production forecasts are too optimistic.

Weekly Summary: Rigs engaged in the exploration and production in the U.S. totaled 936 for the week ended January 19, 2018, down 3 from last week. That’s up from the 551 rigs that were active a year ago. Land rigs dropped by 3 while the offshore rig count was flat. Rigs drilling in the inland waters count were also flat for the week.

Oil Rig Count: The US crude oil rig count fell down 5 to 747 for the week. There are 196 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Rigs drilling for oil represent 79.8 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 last August – gained 2 up to 189 The number of rigs drilling for gas is 47 higher than last year’s level of 142.

Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Wyoming gained three rigs, West Virginia increased by two and Louisiana, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Texas each gained one.

Colorado and Ohio each lost four rigs and Alaska, North Dakota and Utah each decreased by one.

Arkansas, California, and Oklahoma were unchanged.

Summary of Major Plays – Ranked By Rig Count

– Permian Basin 409 rigs compared to last week’s 403 rigs

– Eagle Ford 67 rigs compared to last week’s 70 rigs

– Cana Woodford 71 rigs compared to last week’s 73 rigs

– Williston 45 rigs compared to last week’s 46 rigs

– Marcellus 51 rigs compared to last week’s 48 rigs

– Haynesville 46 rigs compared to last week’s 46 rigs

– DJ-Niobrara 25 rigs compared to last week’s 27 rigs

– Utica 24 rigs compared to last week’s 28 rigs

– Granite Wash 11 rigs compared to last week’s 12 rigs

– Arkoma Woodford 9 rigs compared to last week’s 9 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.

Thank you for your continued support and keep an eye out for this week’s recap on Friday Snippets!


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 OklahomaMinerals.com, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.


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