BHI: North Dakota, Williston climb as US rig count posts 22nd straight increase

The US drilling rig count has now increased in 22 consecutive weeks, according to Baker Hughes Inc. data.

The oil field services firm’s latest tally of active rigs showed a 6-unit increase during the week ended June 16 to 933, up 529 units since a bottom in recent BHI data on May 20-27, 2016, and the highest level since Apr. 17, 2015. Since May 27, 2016, the count has risen in all but 5 weeks. Over the past 22 weeks, it has gained 274 units (OGJ Online, June 9, 2017).

Oil-directed rigs contributed 6 units and now total 747, up 431 units since May 27, 2016, and their highest point since Apr. 10, 2015. Rigs drilling for gas edged up 1 unit to 186, an increase of 105 units since last Aug. 26. The country’s only active rig considered unclassified stopped work this week.

All 6 rigs to come online were on land, bringing that tally to 908. Rigs engaged in horizontal drilling rose 2 units to 782, up 468 units since May 20-27, 2016. Directional drilling rigs climbed 3 units to 69. Offshore rigs and those drilling in inland waters were unchanged at 22 and 3, respectively.

US crude oil production during the week ended June 9 climbed 12,000 b/d to 9.33 million b/d, the US Energy Information Administration reported. A 25,000-b/d gain in the Lower 48 was partially offset by a 13,000-b/d drop in Alaska.

EIA continues to forecast rising output from the Lower 48’s seven major producing regions, which collectively are projected to gain 127,000 b/d in July, most of which will come from the Permian and Eagle Ford (OGJ Online, June, 12, 2017).

Permian production is forecast to rise 65,000 b/d month-over-month in July to 2.47 million b/d. EIA estimates the basin’s May tally of drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells increased 125 month-over-month to 2,163.

The Eagle Ford’s rebound is expected to continue with a 43,000-b/d rise to 1.368 million b/d. Its May DUC tally rose 47 month-over-month to 1,363.

The Permian and Eagle Ford account for more than half of the total DUC wells for the seven regions.

North Dakota, Williston drilling bump

North Dakota and the Williston led the major oil- and gas-producing states and regions as they together recorded a 3-unit rise to 49, up 27 units since June 3, 2016. EIA also projects modest increases in the Bakken’s DUC tally and oil production during July.

New Mexico, Colorado, and Alaska each gained 1 unit to 61, 36, and 7, respectively. New Mexico has climbed 48 units since Mar. 18, 2016, while Colorado has increased 19 units since last Oct. 28. Louisiana and California each added 1 unit and total 65 and 10, respectively.

Wyoming declined a single unit to 25, still up 18 units since July 1, 2016. Oklahoma, which last week reached its highest point since Mar. 27, 2015, dropped 4 units this week to 127, still up 73 units since June 24, 2016. The Cana Woodford and Mississippian each lost a unit to 59 and 8, respectively.

In a rare occurrence, neither Texas nor the Permian recorded an increase or decrease this week compared with its previous week’s total. However, activity included a single-unit drop in the Barnett to 7. The Haynesville, which stretches from North Louisiana into East Texas, also fell 1 unit and now counts 40, up 27 units since last Sept. 30.

Canada’s seasonal rebound advanced with a 27-unit jump to 159, up 79 units since May 12. Oil-directed rigs gained 17 units to 91, while gas-directed rigs rose 10 units to 68.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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