US rig count continues down: new low 318
Baker Hughes’ weekly count of rotary rigs drilling in the U.S., issued since 1944, continues to drop, setting a new low of 318 for the week ending May 22, down 21 from the previous week and down 665 from a year ago.
Prior to this year, the low count by the Houston oilfield services company was 404 rigs in May 2016. That record has now been broken three weeks in a row: 374 rigs on May 8 of this year, 339 rigs on May 15 and this week’s new low of 318.
The count has been dropping steadily: down by 21, 35, 34, 64, 73, 62, 64, 44 and 20 rigs respectively, a total of 417, over the previous nine weeks.
The company said 237 rigs targeted oil, down 21 from the previous week and down 560 from a year ago, while 79 targeted gas, unchanged from the previous week and down 107 from a year ago. There were two miscellaneous rigs active, unchanged from the previous week and up by two from a year ago.
Twenty-five of the holes were directional, 285 were horizontal and eight were vertical.
Alaska count unchangedWest Virginia (8) was up one rig from the previous week.
Rig counts were unchanged Alaska (3), California (5), Louisiana (35), Ohio (8) and Oklahoma (12).
The rig count in Texas, which at 138 has the most active rigs, was down by 12 from the previous week and down by 343 from a year ago.
New Mexico (63) was down by three rigs.
Colorado (6), North Dakota (14) and Wyoming (2) were each down by two rigs from the previous week; Pennsylvania (22) was down by one.
Baker Hughes shows Alaska with three active rigs for the week ending May 22, down by four from a year ago.
The largest rig count drop by basin was in the Permian, which also has the most active rigs at 162. The Permian count was down 13 from the previous week and down 289 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 318 is a new low, surpassing lows set in the previous two weeks. Prior to that the previous low was 404 rigs in May 2016.
- KRISTEN NELSON