US rotary rig count again down sharply
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Count drops 11 for week ending May 19, following 17-rig drop May 12; only 2 states have week-over-week increase; 4 have decreases
The Baker Hughes' U.S. rotary drilling rig count was down by 11 to 720 the week ending May 19, from 731 on May 12 (when the count dropped by 17 rigs from May 5) and the lowest the count has been since May 2022. The May 19 count is down by eight from a count of 728 for the same period a year ago.
The count dropped in six of the past eight weeks, with the current count down from 755 eight weeks ago and down from a high so far this year of 771 on Jan. 20. The high for 2022 was a count of 784 rigs at the beginning of December.
When the count dropped to 244 in mid-August 2020, it was the lowest the domestic rotary rig count had been since the Houston based oilfield services company began issuing weekly U.S. numbers in 1944.
Prior to 2020, the low was 404 rigs in May 2016. The count peaked at 4,530 in 1981.
The count was in the low 790s at the beginning of 2020 prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, where it remained through mid-March, when it began to fall, dropping below what had been the historic low in early May with a count of 374 and continuing to drop through the third week of August 2020 when it gained back 10 rigs.
The May 19 count includes 575 rigs targeting oil, down by 11 from the previous week and down by one from 576 a year ago, with 141 rigs targeting natural gas, unchanged from the previous week and down nine from 150 a year ago, and four miscellaneous rigs, unchanged from the previous week and up by two from a year ago.
Fifty-one of the rigs reported May 19 were drilling directional wells, 650 were drilling horizontal wells and 19 were drilling vertical wells.
Alaska rig count unchangedNew Mexico (109) and Wyoming (15) each added one rig from the previous week.
Texas (357) dropped nine rigs.
Colorado (18) was down by two rigs week-over-week while California (2) and Louisiana (68) were each down by a single rig.
Rig counts in other states were unchanged from the previous week: Alaska (8), North Dakota (37), Ohio (10), Oklahoma (51), Pennsylvania (24), Utah (14) and West Virginia (15).
Baker Hughes shows Alaska with eight rotary rigs active May 19, unchanged from the previous week and unchanged from a year ago when eight rigs were also active. Eight of the Alaska rigs were onshore, unchanged from the previous week, and no rigs working offshore, also unchanged the previous week.
The rig count in the Permian, the most active basin in the country, was down by four from the previous week at 349 and up by six from 343 a year ago.