Baker Hughes: Gas rigs push down overall US rig count by 5

The overall US drilling rig count declined during the week ended Aug. 11 for the fourth time in the past 7 weeks, and gas-directed rigs led the losses for a second straight week.

Baker Hughes’ overall tally of active US drilling rigs decreased 5 units to 949, up just 8 units over the past 7 weeks (OGJ Online, Aug. 4, 2017). Since a low point in Baker Hughes data touched during the weeks ended May 20-27, 2016, the overall count is up 545 units.

Gas-directed rigs dived 8 units to 181 in their biggest drop since early 2016. Since May 19, the gas count has increased by only 1 unit. It’s up 100 units since its recent low in Baker Hughes data, last touched during the week ended Aug. 26, 2016.

Oil-directed rigs waffled upward this week with a 3-unit increase to 768, up just 10 units over the past 7 weeks and up 452 units since their recent low in Baker Hughes data on May 27, 2016.

Six onshore rigs stopped work, with rigs drilling horizontally down 6 to 801, down 3 units over the past month but up 487 units since May 20-27, 2016. The US offshore count, which dived 7 units last week, added a unit this week to total 18.

According to preliminary estimates by the US Energy Information Administration, US crude oil production declined 7,000 b/d during the week ended Aug. 4 to 9.42 million b/d, up 978,000 b/d from a year ago.

Alaska dragged down overall output with a 22,000-b/d drop, which was partially offset by a 15,000-b/d rise from the Lower 48.

In its Short-Term Energy Outlook released this week, EIA forecasts that monthly crude production gains from the Lower 48 will slow in the second half to 60,000 b/d, almost half of first-half monthly growth (OGJ Online, Aug. 8, 2017).

The agency attributes the forecast to slowing rig count growth as well as operators reducing capital budgets for the year due to ongoing oil market volatility.

Eagle Ford, Permian lose rigs

Texas fell 7 units this week to 459, up only 1 unit since May 19 and up 286 units since May 20-27, 2016.

The Eagle Ford, whose count surged to begin the year, fell to its lowest point in 4 months, losing 3 units to 75. The Permian dropped 2 units to 377, up just 9 units over the past 2 months and up 243 units since May 13, 2016.

Despite 1 rig starting work off its coast, Louisiana’s overall count edged down a unit to 66.

New Mexico and California each rose 1 unit to 61 and 14, respectively.

The Cana Woodford gained 3 units to 63, up 39 units since June 24, 2016. The Arkoma Woodford, meanwhile, lost 2 units to 8. Oklahoma’s overall count was flat at 132.

Canada’s rig count increased by 3 this week to 220, up 40 since May 12. All 3 rigs target oil, bringing that tally to 127.

Contact Matt Zborowski at

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