BHI: Global rig count for October totaled 1,620

Baker Hughes Inc.’s latest monthly global rig count again reflects international declines more than offset by increased drilling in the US, Canada, and the Middle East (OGJ Online, Oct. 7, 2016).

The global tally of active units in October averaged 1,620, up 36 from the September total but down 466 from the October 2015 total. The US count was 544, up 35 month-over-month and down 247 year-over-year (OGJ Online, Nov. 4, 2016). Canada’s count was 156, up 15 month-over-month and down just 28 year-over-year.

The Middle East for the second straight month posted an increase, gaining 5 units to 391, down 12 compared with its October 2015 count. Qatar led the way with a 3-unit rise to 12, doubling its year-ago total.

Saudi Arabia added 2 units and now totals 126, up only 1 year-over-year. During the month, state-owned Saudi Aramco and Nabors Industries Ltd. reported an agreement to form a joint venture to own, manage, and operate onshore drilling rigs in Saudi Arabia (OGJ Online, Oct. 31, 2016).

The JV is expected to be formed and begin operations in second-quarter 2017. Aramco and Nabors each will contribute land rigs to the venture in the first years of operation along with capital commitments toward future onshore drilling rigs, which will be manufactured in Saudi Arabia.

Elsewhere in the Middle East during the month, Iraq gained 2 units to 42, down 8 year-over-year. Egypt continued its drilling slide by relinquishing 3 units to 23, down 17 year-over-year.

Europe dropped 5 units during October to 87, down 21 from its October 2015 count. Norway’s tally dived 7 units to 9, down 6 year-over-year. Offshore UK lost a unit to 7, half its year-ago total. Turkey rose 2 units to 31, up 2 year-over-year.

Latin America lost 6 units during the month to 183, down 111 year-over-year. Mexico decreased 4 units to 21, down 17 year-over-year. Brazil also lost 4 units, settling at 14, a year-over-year decline of 22. Beleaguered Venezuela lost 3 units to 48, down 23 year-over-year. Colombia, meanwhile, jumped 5 units to 11, down 9 year-over-year.

The Asia-Pacific region led all with an 8-unit decline in October to 182, a year-over-year loss of 31. India fell 3 units to 112, down 2 year-over-year. Indonesia decreased 2 units to 17, down 6 year-over-year. Vietnam halved to 2, down 1 year-over-year.

Offshore China edged down a unit to 28, even with its year-ago total. Australia dropped a unit to 3, down 13 year-over-year. Malaysia gained 2 units to 5, down 2 year-over-year.

Africa’s October count remained even with its September total at 77, down 16 year-over-year. Two units started work in each of Congo (Brazzaville) and Tunisia where none was operating the previous month. Angola, meanwhile, halved to 2, down 10 year-over-year.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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