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Rig count sheds 3% of total

The U.S. rig count continued its trend downward in the week ended January 29, according to information from Baker Hughes (ticker: BHI, BakerHughes.com). The U.S. total rig count landed at 619, down 18 from last week, and 45 from the first Baker Hughes report of the year.

Both oil and gas focused rigs saw declines this week, with oil falling below 500 to 498 this week. The number of oil rigs stood at 1,223 a year ago, 60% higher than this week. Gas rigs saw another decline this week, falling by six rigs to 121. While gas rigs have been falling slower in absolute terms, the U.S. rig count for machines targeting gas has fallen by 5%-8% in the last four weeks, more than oil rigs in terms of percentage of total rigs.

The Permian continues to be the origin of most of the lowered rig count this week, with the play reporting 17 fewer rigs. Even with substantially fewer rigs, the Permian continues to be the most active play for drilling with 182 rigs, 65% more than the next most active play, the Eagle Ford. Two rigs were added to the DJ Basin, while one was added to the Mississippian.

The Canadian rig count began to fall this week after three weeks of impressive growth. After increasing from 83 rigs at the end of December to 250 last week, the Canadian rig count declined this week to 231.


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