US rig count continues to drop, hits 266
Baker Hughes’ weekly count of rotary rigs drilling for oil and natural gas in the U.S. continues to drop, hitting a new low of 266 for the week ending June 19, down 13 from the previous week and down 701 from a year ago.
Prior to this year, the low count by the Houston oilfield services company, which has issued the count since 1944, was 404 rigs in May 2016.
New low records have now been set for seven weeks in a row: 374 rigs on May 8 of this year; 339 rigs on May 15; 318 on May 22; 301 on May 29; 284 on June 5; 279 on June 12; and this week’s new low of 266.
The count has been dropping steadily: down by 13, five, 17, 17, 21, 35, 34, 64, 73, 62, 64, 44 and 20 rigs respectively, a total of 469, over the previous 13 weeks.
The company said 189 rigs targeted oil, down 10 from the previous week and down 600 from a year ago, while 75 targeted gas, down three from the previous week and down 102 from a year ago. There were two miscellaneous rigs active, unchanged from the previous week and up by two from a year ago.
Eighteen of the holes were directional, 234 were horizontal and 14 were vertical.
Alaska count unchangedRig counts were unchanged for Alaska (3), California (4), Colorado (6), Ohio (9), Pennsylvania (22) and Wyoming (1).
North Dakota (10), Oklahoma (9) and West Virginia (5) were each down by one rig from the previous week.
Louisiana (32) was down by two rigs, Texas (111) was down by three rigs and New Mexico (51) was down by five rigs.
Baker Hughes shows Alaska with three active rigs for the week ending June 19, down by six from a year ago.
The largest rig count drop by basin was in the Permian, which has the most active rigs at 132 and was down five from the previous week and down 307 from a year ago.
Baker Hughes has issued weekly rig counts for the U.S. and Canada since 1944 and began issuing international rig counts in 1975.
The U.S. rig count peaked at 4,530 in 1981. This week’s count of 266 is a new low, surpassing lows set in the previous six weeks. Prior to that the previous low was 404 rigs in May 2016.