Rig Count

Weekly Rig Count Update: May 10, 2019


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US Rig Count

US rig count, down 2 units, stays below 1,000 for the third week

SOURCES: Baker Hughes and Houston Chronicle (Jordan Blum)

The US drilling rig count fell 2 units to reach 988 rigs working for the week ended May 10—the third straight week below 1,000, according to Baker Hughes data. The count is down 57 units from the 1,045 rigs working this time a year ago.

Texas has seen a net loss of about 50 rigs in the last six months, while the overall U.S. count has fallen by about 90 rigs since late last year.

The downward trend follows the oil price collapse when crude plunged by more than 40 percent from early October to the end of 2018 when energy companies were setting their 2019 budgets.

While crude prices have rebounded quite a bit this year — currently near $62 a barrel — drilling rig movement typically lags oil prices by several weeks. And volatile pricing has made investors and most energy companies hesitant to increase spending levels.

Texas is still home to 485 active rigs, nearly half of the nation’s total. West Texas’ booming Permian Basin, which extends into New Mexico, alone accounts for 457 rigs. The Permian makes up 57 percent of all the oil-drilling rigs in the country.

Because of pipeline shortages in West Texas, many companies are continuing to drill Permian wells while leaving more of them uncompleted until new pipelines come online.

Oil Prices

Oil prices were little changed on Friday as tightened global supplies and expectations of rising U.S. refining demand offset trade tensions stoked by a U.S. move to hike tariffs on Chinese goods.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude futures settled 4 cents lower at $61.66, having earlier hit $62.49. WTI ended the week down about half a percent.

Brent crude oil was up 23 cents at $70.62 a barrel, having touched a peak of $71.23. Brent ended the week slightly lower.


Weekly Summary: 
Total rigs engaged in the exploration and production in the U.S.incurred a slight loss for the week ended May 10, 2019, decreasing 2 rigs falling to 988.  Land rigs were the culprit, losing 2 rigs down to 964. The offshore rig count dropped down remained at 20. Rigs drilling in the inland waters also remained flat with 4 rigs running.

Oil Rig Count:  
The US crude oil rig count lost 2 rigs, falling from 807 down to 805 for the week. There are 39 fewer rigs targeting oil than last year. Rigs drilling for oil represent 81.4 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 –  remained flat at 183.  The number of rigs drilling for gas is 16 rigs fewer than last years count.

US Rig Count



California picked up 3 new rigs, Oklahoma added 2, while Pennsylvania and Texas added 1 rig each.


SIX states were unchanged, namely Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Ohio, Utah, and West Virginia.


New Mexico lost 4 rigs, Wyoming was down 2 rigs, while Louisiana and North Dakota both lost 1 rig each.

Summary of Major Plays – Ranked By Rig Count

  • – Permian Basin 457 rigs compared to last week’s 459 rigs
  • – Eagle Ford 74 rigs compared to last week’s 74 rigs
  • – Cana Woodford 47 rigs compared to last week’s 46 rigs
  • – Williston 56 rigs compared to last week’s 57 rigs
  • – Marcellus 63 rigs compared to last week’s 61 rigs
  • – Haynesville 52 rigs compared to last week’s 52 rigs
  • – DJ-Niobrara 29 rigs compared to last week’s 30 rigs
  • – Utica 17 rigs compared to last week’s 18 rigs
  • – Granite Wash 8 rigs compared to last week’s 8 rigs
  • – Ardmore Woodford 5 rigs compared to last week’s 5 rigs
  • – Arkoma Woodford 3 rigs compared to last week’s 3 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.

SOURCES: Baker Hughes and Houston Chronicle (Jordan Blum)

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