Rig Count Summary – Total rigs engaged in the drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. made a small gain for the week ending March 5, 2021, with the total climbing 1 to 403. Land rigs were up 4 and now at 389. However, the offshore rig count dropped down 3 rigs, with 14 rigs running. The Inland Waters rig count remained at zero.
Oil Rig Count:
The US crude oil rig count INCREASED by 1 Rig, from 309 to 310 for the week. There are 372 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 17 rigs fewer than last year’s count.
Rig Count – State Highlights
Texas crossed the 200 barrier, gaining five rigs to 202 at work statewide. This is exactly half the 404 rigs drilling in the Lone Star State last year. Texas was the only producing state in the plus column this week. New Mexico dropped one rig to 61 while Louisiana and North Dakota also posted declines. Oklahoma remained the same with 17 rigs turning to the right.
Rig Count – Basin Activity
The Permian Basin remained above 200, adding three rigs to 211. A year ago, the Permian had 415 rigs at work, 204 more than this week.
Lea County, New Mexico remained the most active county in the Permian with 33 rigs, unchanged for the week. Eddy County, New Mexico followed with 28 rigs, down one for the week.
Martin County added two rigs to 24. Midland County was unchanged at 21 rigs while Reeves County also reported 21 rigs, a gain of two. Howard County dropped one rig to 17 while Loving County was unchanged at 16. Upton County added a rig for 12 rigs drilling within county lines this week.
The US rig count is up almost 5% in the last month but still down 43% year over year. The most-active operators in the US are currently EOG Resources (22 rigs), Pioneer Natural Resources (21), Devon Energy (17), Occidental Petroleum (15) and ConocoPhillips (14).
The Permian Basin led the way, gaining nine rigs over the last week. Pioneer had been running an average of 18 rigs in the Permian in February but has climbed up to 21 as of March 3, which is the company’s highest count since April 2020. Centennial Resource Development, which has been running two rigs since December, also increased its active count to four over the last week.
The Haynesville saw a five-rig increase to 43, with Aethon Energy’s two-rig increase to a total of seven leading the way. The DJ Basin also rose by two rigs to 14 over the last week. The Anadarko, Appalachian, Gulf Coast and Williston basins all were flat or lost rigs
The total rig count fell to a record low of 244
rigs during the week ended Aug. 14, 2020
Oil Prices Surge to 2-Year High on OPEC Cuts, Jobs Growth
U.S. crude prices are trading at the highest levels since April 2019, pushing oil majors firmly into the green, following a stronger-than-expected February jobs report and yesterday’s agreement on production cuts from OPEC.
U.S. oil prices traded past $66 for the first time in nearly two years Friday as crude and commodity markets continued to extend gains following yesterday’s production cuts agreement from OPEC and bets on a faster post-pandemic recovery.
Goldman Sachs also boosted its near-term forecast for Brent crude prices, which are used as the global benchmark, and expects them to hit $80 a barrel by the third quarter of this year.
OPEC members, along with Russia, agreed to roll over their current pact on production cuts until at least the end of April following yesterday’s virtual meeting in Vienna, with Saudi Arabia also pledging to extend its own voluntary cuts, which are taking 1 million barrels of oil from the market each day, for another month.
Oil Price Summary
Brent futures rose $2.62, or 3.9%, to settle at $69.36 a barrel. The session high for the global benchmark was its highest since January 2020.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose $2.26 to settle at $66.09 a barrel.
For the week, Brent was up 5.2%, rising for a seventh week in a row for the first time since December, while WTI was up about 7.4% after gaining almost 4% last week.
Sources: Midland-Reporter Telegram; Baker Hughes, Street.com