BHI: Overall US rig count falls to 700 in shortened holiday week

The overall US drilling rig count fell 9 units to an even 700 during the week ended Dec. 23­—shortened by the Christmas holiday—according to Baker Hughes Inc. data.

The new total is the lowest since Sept. 10, 1999, and down 1,140 year-over-year.

After a sudden 17-unit jump during the week ended Dec. 18 (OGJ Online, Dec. 18, 2015), oil-directed rigs decreased 3 units to 538, down 961 year-over-year. Gas-directed rigs, which lost 17 units last week, dropped 6 units this week to settle at 162, down 178 year-over-year.

All 9 units that dropped during the week were land-based, bringing that count to 675, down 1,095 year-over-year. Before sitting unchanged last week, they had fallen in 16 straight weeks.

Rigs engaged in horizontal drilling lost 5 units to 554, down 796 year-over-year. Directional drilling rigs declined 3 units to 60.

Both offshore rigs and those drilling in inland waters were unchanged at 24 and 1, respectively.

Canada's rig count suffered a precipitous drop of 36 units during the week to 126, down 130 year-over-year. Most of those rigs, 27, were oil-directed, bringing that total to 44. Gas-directed rigs lost 9 units to 82.

North Dakota, Williston take losses

North Dakota and Wyoming each led the major oil- and gas-producing states with a 3-unit decline to 55 and 17, respectively. North Dakota's count, down 114 year-over-year, is the state's lowest since Nov. 13, 2009.

The Williston also fell 3 units to 55, down 124 year-over-year.

Louisiana and Arkansas each dropped 2 units to respective totals of 56 and 1. Down 55 year-over-year, Louisiana's count has again hit its lowest point since BHI began tracking states data in January 2000.

The Haynesville and Fayetteville each lost 2 units as well, settling at 24 and 1, respectively.

Texas, Colorado, and Alaska each edged down a unit to respective totals of 319, 24, and 11. The Lone Star State's count is its lowest since June 21, 2002, and this week's decline comes despite a 6-unit jump in the Permian to 212.

Unchanged from a week ago were Pennsylvania at 26, West Virginia at 16, Ohio at 15, California at 9, and Utah at 3.

New Mexico and Kansas each edged up a unit to 38 and 12, respectively. Oklahoma led all with a 2-unit rise to 88.

The Cana Woodford and Mississippian each edged up a unit to 39 and 12, respectively.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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