New Mexico reaches all-time high

Drilling activity increased this week, partially reversing last week’s decline according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes Rig Count.

A net nine rigs came online in the week, bringing the national total to 1,059. This is the largest in over two months, but only partly offsets the 25-rig drop seen last week.

Nine land-based rigs started operations in the week, while one inland waters rig shut down and one offshore rig came online. Land-based rigs account for the vast majority of the current rig count, as there are only one inland waters and 20 offshore rigs currently active.

Drilling shifted strongly in favor of oil targets, as ten such rigs came online while one gas-targeting rig shut down in the week. Oil now accounts for 81.4% of all activity in the country, with 862 rigs targeting oil.

Activity by trajectory increased across the board, as four directional, three horizontal and two vertical rigs came online. Vertical activity once again exceeds directional, as there are currently 59 directional rigs, compared to 68 vertical and 932 horizontal.

Like last week, this week saw most major states shuffle rigs, with numerous changes in state rig counts. Four rigs came online in New Mexico, bringing the statewide total to 112. This is the highest New Mexico rig count since at least 1991, the earliest data available.

North Dakota also added three rigs, two came online in Louisiana, Utah and West Virginia and one began drilling in Alaska, Colorado and Ohio. One rig shut down in California, Pennsylvania and Wyoming. The largest decline, however, came in the heart of U.S. oil and gas, as four rigs shut down in Texas. The Lone Star State’s rig count is now down 17 from the high seen in the first week of January.

Despite the extensive shifts in state rig counts, activity by basin was mostly flat this week. Three rigs began drilling in the Permian, two came online in the Williston and one started drilling in the Marcellus and Utica.

By Richard Rostad, analyst, Oil & Gas 360

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