Rig Count Update: May 11, 2018


Crude prices fell Friday afternoon as the US added oil rigs for the sixth week in a row, bringing the total rig count to its highest level since March 2015.

West Texas Intermediate was down 1.2% to $70.54 at 2:45 p.m. ET.  Brent, the international benchmark, fell 0.6% to $77.07. Both still held close to three-and-a-half-year highs.

More than half the total oil rigs are in Permian Basin in west Texas and eastern New Mexico, the nation’s biggest shale oil field. Active units there increased by five this week to 463, the most since January 2015.

The U.S. government expects oil output in the Permian to rise to a record high near 3.2 million barrels per day (MMbbl/d) in May, about 30% of total U.S. oil production.

Weekly Summary: Rigs engaged in the exploration and production in the U.S. climbed +13 for the week ended May 11, 2018, up to 1045.   Land rigs were +10 up to 1021. The offshore rig count picked up +2 to 21.    Rigs drilling in the inland waters gained 1 for the week, up to 2.

Oil Rig Count:  The US crude oil rig count grew by 10 to 844 for the week. There are 132 more rigs targeting oil than last year. Rigs drilling for oil represent 80.7 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 – climbed +3 at 199.  The number of rigs drilling for gas is 27 higher than last year’s level of 172.

Rig Count Infographic


Among major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas added eight rigs, Colorado and Oklahoma each gained three, Alaska added two and Louisiana and West Virginia each gained one.

New Mexico declined by four rigs and Wyoming lost one.

Arkansas, California, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah were unchanged.


Summary of Major Plays – Ranked By Rig Count

– Permian Basin 463 rigs compared to last week’s 458 rigs

– Eagle Ford 78 rigs compared to last week’s 76 rigs

– Cana Woodford 70 rigs compared to last week’s 69 rigs

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

– Marcellus 55 rigs compared to last week’s 54 rigs

– Haynesville 54 rigs compared to last week’s 54 rigs

– DJ-Niobrara 24 rigs compared to last week’s 22 rigs

– Utica 25 rigs compared to last week’s 25 rigs

– Granite Wash 13 rigs compared to last week’s 11 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 here on the Oklahoma Index tab of our website.

Tableau Dashboard Rig Count


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, an online resource designed for mineral owners in Oklahoma.

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