Providing coverage of Alaska and northern Canada's oil and gas industry
September 2023

Vol. 28, No.39 Week of September 24, 2023

US rotary drilling rig count jumps 9 to 641

Kristen Nelson

Petroleum News

The Baker Hughes' U.S. rotary drilling rig count saw a second week of increases for the week ending Sept. 15, up by nine rigs to 641, just the second consecutive increase in the count since July 7, following a downward trend dominant since the beginning of May and eight consecutive weeks of declines. This count is down by 122 from 763 a year ago.

A drop of 17 on May 12 was the steepest drop since June of 2020, during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Sept. 15 count is the lowest since Feb. 11, 2022, when the count was 635. The count dropped below 700 the week ending June 2, the first time it has been below 700 since April 2022. This week's count is down from a high so far this year of 775 on Jan. 13. 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 of that year, 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 Sept. 15 count includes 515 rigs targeting oil, up by two from the previous week and down by 84 from 599 a year ago, with 121 rigs targeting natural gas, up by eight from the previous week and down 41 from 162 a year ago, and five miscellaneous rigs, down by one from the previous week and up by three from a year ago.

Fifty-seven of the rigs reported Sept. 15 were drilling directional wells, 567 were drilling horizontal wells and 17 were drilling vertical wells.

Alaska rig count unchanged

Texas (317) was up by seven rigs from the previous week.

Colorado (16), Utah (15) and Wyoming (21) were each up by a single rig.

New Mexico (102) was down by two rigs week over week.

Rig counts in other states were unchanged from the previous week: Alaska (9), California (5), Louisiana (42), North Dakota (30), Ohio (10), Oklahoma (39), Pennsylvania (21) and West Virginia (8).

Baker Hughes shows Alaska with nine rotary rigs active Sept. 15, unchanged from the previous week and down by one from a year ago. Eight of the Alaska rigs were onshore, unchanged from the previous week, with one rig was working offshore, also unchanged.

The rig count in the Permian, the most active basin in the country, was up by two from the previous week at 322 and down by 21 from 343 a year ago.

Petroleum News - Phone: 1-907 522-9469
[email protected] --- https://www.petroleumnews.com ---

Copyright Petroleum Newspapers of Alaska, LLC (Petroleum News)(PNA)�1999-2019 All rights reserved. The content of this article and website may not be copied, replaced, distributed, published, displayed or transferred in any form or by any means except with the prior written permission of Petroleum Newspapers of Alaska, LLC (Petroleum News)(PNA). Copyright infringement is a violation of federal law.