Land rigs drop by seven

U.S. drilling activity continues to fall, dropping for the fourth straight week according to Baker Hughes Weekly Rig Count. The total number of rigs active in the U.S. fell by six to 940, down 18 from the peak of 958 in the last week of July.

Seven land-based rigs shut down this week, dropping the total number of such rigs to 920. One offshore rig came online, however, but this has not been enough to reverse the recent decline in offshore activity. Like overall numbers, offshore rigs peaked in the last week of July at 24. The offshore rig count has since fallen to 17, down about 30% from the peak.

Both oil and gas-targeting rigs saw activity decrease this week, in roughly proportional amounts. Four oil-targeting rigs shut down, dropping the total number of such rigs to 759. Gas-targeting rigs dropped by two to 180, while the lone “miscellaneous” rig that began operating last week remained active.

Each trajectory saw decreasing activity this week. Horizontal rigs, which utterly dominate current activity, saw the highest decrease, dropping by three. One directional rig shut down, while two vertical rigs came offline. Vertical rigs now make up the lowest-ever proportion of U.S. activity, at only 6.8%.

Pennsylvania and Texas accounted for the vast majority of shutdowns this week, each losing three rigs. Smaller changes were seen in several other states, with one rig coming online in Louisiana, North Dakota and Ohio. One rig each shut down in Alaska, Oklahoma and Utah.

The major basins tracked by Baker actually increased in total activity last week. The Cana Woodford added two rigs, while the Granite Wash, Haynesville, Utica and Williston each added one. Three Marcellus rigs shut down, and one rig came offline in the Eagle Ford and Mississippian.

Further decreases in Eagle Ford activity may be seen in next week’s release, as companies temporarily shut down drilling activity in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey.

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