Drilling rig counts climb across the board

By Phaedra Friend Troy

According to the weekly report from Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI), the number of drilling rigs working in the US and Canada has risen by 40 this week.

Since last week, the number of rotary drilling rigs working the US increased by nine rigs, up 635 year over year.

With the emergence of shale exploration and development across the nation, drilling has skyrocketed onshore the US over the last year. Land rigs in the US increased by five to 1,625 rotary rigs working onshore the US, which is an increase of 641 since this time last year.

Boasting the Eagle Ford Shale, Barnett Shale and Haynesville Shale, the most rigs are drilling in Texas with 718, up 328 rigs from this time last year.

With Haynesville and Bossier Shale formations, Louisiana has the next highest number of rigs with 178 contracted.

Boasting the liquids-rich Bakken Shale, North Dakota narrowly beat out Oklahoma for the third-most drilling rigs, with 135 drilling the in the Midwestern state and 132 drilling in the Panhandle state.

While the number of drilling rigs working in the US Gulf of Mexico increased by four to 19 this week, that number is down substantially from last year, when there were 32 offshore drilling rigs working in US waters. The DOI-imposed drilling moratorium has stunted both exploration and development drilling in the US Gulf.

In Canada, the number of drilling rigs also increased. With the passing of the adverse weather from last week, the number of rigs working in Canada climbed by 31 to 313 drilling rigs. This is a year-over-year increase of 75 drilling rigs, most likely boosted by increased activity in unconventional gas and oil sands of Canada.

In the US and Canada, there were 687 rigs drilling for oil and 962 rigs drilling for natural gas. Another 10 rigs are categorized as “miscellaneous.” Furthermore, there were 523 rigs working on vertical wells, 220 rigs working on directional wells, and 916 rigs drilling horizontal wells.

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