Rig Count Update: March 22, 2019


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US Rig Count

Baker Hughes data show U.S. oil-rig count down for a 5th straight week.  The updated count represents a year-over-year increase of 21 rigs.

Oil investors typically see rig shutdowns as a positive for the price of crude, as the oil market is still struggling to reach a balance following after an oil glut caused prices to collapse in 2014.

OPEC announced in December it intends to cut production by 1.2 million barrels per day in early 2019 to help curb global supply. Last week, OPEC said it expects global oil demand to be 99.96 million barrels per day in 2019. Global supply in February was 99.15 million bpd, according to OPEC.

While OPEC is dialing back production, the U.S. is expected to ramp it up this year. The U.S. Energy Information Administration says the U.S. will produce a record 12.4 million bpd of oil in 2019 and up that to 13.2 million bpd in 2020.

Oil fell about 2 percent on Friday, slipping further from 2019 highs as focus shifted to a lack of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and as grim manufacturing data from Germany and the U.S. reignited fears of a slowdown in the global economy and oil demand.

Brent crude futures settled at $67.03 per barrel, 83 cents, or 1.2 percent below their last close and down about 0.2 percent on the week. The contract hit a four-month high of $68.69 on Thursday. The global benchmark has risen by more than 20 percent since the beginning of January.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures fell 94 cents, to settle at $59.04 per barrel. WTI marked a 2019 peak on Thursday at $60.39 and rose 0.8 percent on the week.


Weekly Summary: Total rigs engaged in the exploration and production in the U.S. slipped again for the week ended March 22, 2019, decreasing 10 rigs falling to 1016.  Land rigs dropped 8 rigs to 993. The offshore rig count fell 2 rigs down to 20. Rigs drilling in the inland waters remained flat at 3.

Oil Rig Count: The US crude oil rig count lost another 9 rigs, falling from 833 down to 824 for the week. There are 20 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Rigs drilling for oil represent 81.1 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 –  lost 1 rig down to 192.  The number of rigs drilling for gas is 2 rigs higher than last years count.



North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania each gained 1 rig apiece.


Five states were unchanged, namely Arkansas, California, Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming.


Texas lost 4 rigs, Louisiana lost 3, New Mexico and Oklahoma lost 2, Alaska and West Virginia lost 1 rig each.

Summary of Major Plays – Ranked By Rig Count

– Permian Basin 459 rigs compared to last week’s 464 rigs

– Eagle Ford 82 rigs compared to last week’s 82 rigs

– Cana Woodford 52 rigs compared to last week’s 53 rigs

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

– Marcellus 65 rigs compared to last week’s 65 rigs

– Haynesville 57 rigs compared to last week’s 58 rigs

– DJ-Niobrara 31 rigs compared to last week’s 31 rigs

– Utica 15 rigs compared to last week’s 14 rigs

– Granite Wash 6 rigs compared to last week’s 6 rigs

– Arkoma Woodford 3 rigs compared to last week’s 4 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.

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.

SOURCE: Baker Hughes

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