BHI: US oil rig count records another double-digit increase

Again boosted by oil-directed units, the tally of active US drilling rigs gained 9 units to 440 during the week ended July 8, marking the fifth time in 6 weeks the overall count has risen, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data (OGJ Online, July 1, 2016).

The overall count is up 36 units since its first increase in 41 weeks on June 3, and down 1,480 units since the overall drilling dive commenced following the week ended Dec. 5, 2014.

BHI also reported that the US rig count in June averaged 417 rigs working, up 9 from the May average and down 444 from the June 2015 average.

In its 2016 Quarterly Well Completion Report, the American Petroleum Institute this week published estimates showing a 69% decline in second-quarter oil well completions compared with year-ago levels.

Exploratory gas well completions in the second quarter fell an estimated 84% year-over-year. So far this year, development well footage has dropped 53% while exploratory well footage has dropped 64%, the report indicates.

Meanwhile, US crude oil production during the week ended July 1 plunged 194,000 b/d compared with the previous week’s average, according the US Energy Information Administration’s Weekly Petroleum Status Report. The bulk of the weekly drop, however, came from Alaska, which fell 156,000 b/d vs. a Lower 48 decline of just 38,000 b/d.

Total US output during the week averaged 8.428 million b/d, a year-over-year decline surpassing the million-barrel-per-day mark at 1.176 million b/d.

Land, oil rigs set pace in US

The US oil-directed count jumped by 10 during the week to 351 rigs working, up 35 since May 27. Compared with its peak in BHI data on Oct. 10, 2014, the total is now down 1,258 units.

Natural gas-directed rigs edged down a unit for a second straight week, settling at 88.

Onshore rigs continued their climb, collecting 9 more units for a total of 417. Recording its biggest increase since July 24, 2015, the count of rigs engaged in horizontal drilling jumped by 11 to 343, up 29 units since May 27 and down 1,029 units since a peak in BHI data on Nov. 21, 2014. Directional drilling rigs, meanwhile, dropped for a third consecutive week, relinquishing 2 units to 36.

Offshore rigs and those drilling in inland waters were unchanged for the week at 19 and 4, respectively. The offshore tally remains at its lowest level since Oct. 1, 2010, less than 6 months after the Deepwater Horizon incident.

Among the major oil- and gas-producing states, Texas increased for the sixth straight week, gaining 3 units to 201. The Lone Star State is now up 28 units since May 27 and down 757 units since a peak in BHI data on Aug. 29, 2008.

The Permian rose 4 units to 158, up 24 since May 13. The Barnett increased a unit to 9.

North Dakota and New Mexico each gained 2 units to 28 and 21, respectively. Also with a 2-unit rise to 28, the Williston mirrored the activity of its home state.

Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Wyoming each added a unit to reach respective totals of 59, 43, and 8. The Cana Woodford was up 2 units to 28. The DJ-Niobrara and Mississippian each rose a unit to 15 and 5, respectively.

Kansas was the only state to record a loss, with its count halving to 1.

North America offsets global declines

Canada’s rig count continued its recent upward swing during the week ended July 8, rising 5 units to 81, up 45 since May 6. Gas-directed rigs increased by 3 to 43 while oil-directed rigs increased by 2 to 37, up 24 units since June 3. One rig considered unclassified remains operating.  

The average Canadian count for June was 63, up 21 from the May average and down 66 year-over-year, according BHI data.

The worldwide rig count for June averaged 1,407, up 2 month-over-month and down 729 year-over-year. Outside North America, however, drilling activity continued to decline in every region following a May in which all but one region’s count increased (OGJ Online, June 10, 2016).

Latin America—that one region—led the way in June with a 10-unit drop 178 rigs working, a year-over-year decline of 136 compared with the region’s June 2015 average. Argentina lost 8 units to 63, down 42 year-over-year. Venezuela fell 7 units to 53, down 13 year-over-year. Mexico dropped 2 units to 20, down 31 year-over-year.

The Asia-Pacific region, which jumped 11 units in May, fell 8 units in June to 182, down 33 year-over-year. Indonesia and Thailand each dropped 3 units month-over-month and 7 units year-over-year to respective averages of 16 and 12. Australia also relinquished 3 active rigs, averaging 3, down 12 year-over-year. Offshore China fell 2 units to 29, up 5 year-over-year.

Partially offsetting those losses in Asia-Pacific was India, which jumped 6 units to 108, a 5-unit year-over-year decline.

Europe dropped 4 units to 91, down 22 year-over-year. The only region to record multiple-unit losses was Sakhalin. The large island off eastern mainland Russia decreased 2 units to 8, down 2 from its year-ago average.

Africa also dropped 4 units, settling at an average of 87, down 16 year-over-year. Algeria posted the only multiple-rig loss, falling 2 units to 53, up 2 year-over-year.

The Middle East decreased 2 units to 389, down 12 from the region’s June 2015 average. Oman dropped 3 units to 66, down 5 year-over-year. Iraq lost 2 units to 41, down 12 year-over-year. Egypt also decreased 2 units, down 15 year-over-year. Meanwhile, Pakistan rose 3 units to 30, up 13 year-over-year. Saudi Arabia edged up a unit to 124, up 3 from its year-ago average.

Contact Matt Zborowski at matthewz@ogjonline.com.

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