More rigs drilling in the US; Canada continues to drop

By Phaedra Friend Troy 

Drilling activity has decreased across the US and Canada according to the weekly rig report from oilfield services company Baker Hughes (NYSE:BHI). While the US added six rigs this week, drilling activity in Canada dropped another 94 units this week to just 191 active rigs. 

Onshore the US, there are currently 1,735 active rigs, an increase of 328 year over year. Additionally, there are 19 rigs drilling in inland waters. 

Nearly half the number of rigs drilling at this time last year, there are currently only 28 active drillings in the US Gulf of Mexico. Activity in the US Gulf has been dramatically affected by the drilling moratorium, changing safety regulations and delayed permitting process. Nonetheless, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has recently approved some 10 deepwater drilling permits

Texas gained the most rigs this week, adding 21 to its line-up of 791 active rigs. Activity across the Haynesville Shale, Barnett Shale, Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin has helped to boost the number of rigs drilling in the state. 

Louisiana held steady, losing only one rig, to boast the send-most number of active rigs with 174 units this week. Dropping some 46 rigs year over year, the Louisiana Gulf Coast has been especially hit by the drilling dearth in the US Gulf of Mexico. 

Dropping some 15 rigs this week, Oklahoma had the biggest loss with 160 rigs actively drilling in the state. While consistently a major domestic hydrocarbon producer, Oklahoma has benefitted from increased drilling in the Woodford Shale formation, increasing by 44 rigs over the last year. 

Not far behind, North Dakota has 159 active rigs in the state, mostly drilling in the Bakken Shale formation. With oil production expected to increase over the next several years, North Dakota may soon out-pace Alaska as the largest oil producer in the US. 

Other states that have seen big year-over-year gains include Pennsylvania which has added 29 rigs this year to land at 107 active drilling rigs. New Mexico has also added 26 rigs to boast 76 active drilling rigs in the state. 

Canada, on the other hand, dropped again this week by 94 rigs to 191 active rigs in the country. This follows a decrease of 144 units last week. In just two weeks, drilling in Canada has dropped by 238 rigs. Likely caused by the spring thaw, drilling activity decreases when the roads are slushy, and heavy equipment cannot be transported.



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