BHI: US rig count loses 27 units, down 1,015 units since Dec. 5

The US drilling rig count fell 27 units—all on land—to 905 rigs working during the week ended May 1, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. The count has now plunged 1,015 units over 21 weeks since the week ended Dec. 5 (OGJ Online, Dec. 5, 2014).

The total of 905 is the lowest since June 19, 2009, and 949 fewer units compared with this week a year ago. The rig count’s nadir during the 2008-09 downturn was 876 units on June 12, 2009.

During the week, oil rigs fell 24 units to 679, down 848 year-over-year and 930 since a recent peak of 1,609 on Oct. 10. Gas rigs fell 3 units to 222. Rigs considered unclassified were unchanged at 4.

Land rigs now total 868, down 918 year-over-year. Rigs engaged in horizontal drilling dropped another 21 units to 699. Since Nov. 21, 673 horizontal units have gone offline. Rigs drilling directionally, meanwhile, gained 2 units to 93.

Offshore rigs and rigs drilling in inland waters were unchanged at respective totals of 34 and 3.

Canada’s overall rig count was unchanged from a week ago at 79. A 1-unit gain in oil rigs to 17 was offset by a 1-unit decline in gas rigs to 62. Last week’s total of 16 oil rigs was the country’s lowest since Apr. 24, 2009.

Texas, Oklahoma lead losses

Texas laid down 13 rigs during the week to settle at a total of 380, leading the losses in major oil and gas-producing states. The state has now lost 526 units since Nov. 21 and 512 units year-over-year.

Those losses were reflected by declines in the Permian and Eagle Ford. The Permian dropped 8 units to 238, down 330 since Dec. 5, while the Eagle Ford dropped 5 units to 110, down 108 since Oct. 31.

Oklahoma lost 7 units to 108. The Mississippian dropped 4 units to 25 and the Cana Woodford dropped 3 units to 38. Pennsylvania and New Mexico lost 2 units to respective totals of 47 and 46. Louisiana, Kansas, Alaska, and Arkansas edged down 1 unit to 73, 11, 10, and 8, respectively.

Unchanged from a week ago were Colorado at 37, Ohio at 25, West Virginia at 21, California at 14, and Utah at 7.

North Dakota and Wyoming each edged up a unit to 79 and 24. The Williston edged up a unit to 80.

More losses on the horizon?

During a week in which several companies released their earnings reports, a few major US shale players reported on future rig count movement.

Hess Corp. reported this week that it’s operating 8 rigs in the Bakken and plans to continue at that level for the remainder of the year (OGJ Online, Apr. 29, 2015). But ExxonMobil Corp. subsidiary XTO Energy Inc., active in the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Bakken, is “running just south of 40 rigs,” said a company official, and that total is trending downward due to output efficiency (OGJ Online, Apr. 30, 2015).

Whiting Petroleum Corp. plans to run 11 rigs in the second half, of which 9 will be in the Bakken-Three Forks and 2 in the Niobrara. The company ran 25 units in second-half 2014.

A ConocoPhillips official said its shale rig count is down to 15 from 32 at yearend 2014, and will be further reduced to 12 rigs working in the second half (OGJ Online, May 1, 2015).

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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