Gas activity up sharply, active oil rigs record largest fall since May 2016

Drilling activity declined this week, continuing the drop from last week according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes’ Rig Count.

A net one rig shut down in the week, meaning there are 1,075 rigs active in the country. The only shift among location type was one land-based rig coming offline, as inland waters and offshore rigs held steady.

Despite the small overall change in rig count, there were extensive changes in specific categories. Ten oil-targeting rigs shut down in the week, the largest decrease since rigs bottomed out in early 2016. Nine gas rigs came online in the week, the largest jump since October 2016.

Four directional rigs came online in the week, while one horizontal and four vertical rigs shut down. Directional activity once again exceeds vertical, as there are 72 directional, 933 horizontal and 70 vertical rigs currently active.

New Mexico enjoys highest rig count in 27+ years

Activity in New Mexico surged to the highest level in at least 27 years, with two rigs coming online. There are now 110 rigs in the state, compared to a pre-downturn high of 102. The surge in New Mexico activity can entirely be attributed to the Permian, as all but three rigs in the state are drilling in the country’s most popular basin.

One rig also came online in Alaska, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Utah and West Virginia, while one came offline in Louisiana. Two rigs shut down in Ohio and Texas, while three came offline in Oklahoma.

Operations shifted toward basins not tracked individually by Baker, as these basins added a combined four rigs in the past week. The only increases in major basins came in the Cana Woodford, where tow rigs began drilling, and the Eagle Ford and Marcellus, which added one rig each. One rig came offline in the Ardmore Woodford, DJ-Niobrara, Haynesville, Mississippian and Utica, while four shut down in the Permian.

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