U.S. count up 13 for the week

U.S. drilling activity rose sharply today, as rig counts once again exceeded 1,050 rigs, according to the Baker Hughes Weekly Rig Count.

A net 13 rigs came online this week, meaning there are now 1,057 rigs active in the U.S., the highest activity level since early June. Overall, this week’s increase continues the trend seen over the past three months, the American rig count is hovering near 1,050.

Ten land-based rigs came online this week and three offshore rigs began operations, so there are 1,035 land, two inland waters and 20 offshore rigs active in the U.S. Two of the new offshore rigs are drilling off the coast of Louisiana, while the third is drilling in Alaska. This marks the first time that Alaska has seen two offshore rigs since 2014.

In terms of product targeted, the new rigs are in line with current operations. Ten new rigs are targeting oil, while three are targeting gas. This proportion is very similar to the overall share of oil and gas rigs in the U.S., as 82.2% of rigs are drilling for oil.

The vast majority of new rigs are drilling horizontal wells, as shale continues to dominate U.S. oil and gas production. Twelve horizontal rigs came online this week, while one vertical rig began drilling and directional rigs were flat. Horizontal drilling now accounts for 87.4% of all activity in the country, down slightly from the all-time peak of 88.4% seen in late June but above any time before March 2018.

107 New Mexico rigs highest since at least 1991

Six rigs came online in Louisiana this week, the largest single-week increase seen in the state since March 2017. Activity in New Mexico also increased significantly, with five rigs coming online in the state. The growth of the Permian has sent drilling in New Mexico to new heights, as the state’s 107 rigs mark the highest activity level since at least 1991.

Activity changes in other states were much smaller, though many states saw shifts in activity. Two rigs coming online in Alaska and Oklahoma and one rig beginning drilling in California, Florida, Nebraska and Ohio. One rig shut down in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas and Pennsylvania, while two came offline in Texas.

Most new rigs are targeting minor basins not tracked individually by Baker, such basins added a total of nine rigs this week. The Permian added five rigs this week, likely all in the New Mexico portion of the basin. One rig also began drilling in the Granite Wash, Haynesville and Utica, while one shut down in the Arkoma Woodford, Barnett, Eagle Ford and Marcellus.

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