Highest activity level since 2015

Drilling activity continued its rise this week, according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes’ Rig Count, meaning activity has risen in 12 of the last 13 weeks.

The U.S. rig count rose only slightly, with one net rig coming online. Two land-based rigs and one inland waters rig began drilling this week, while two offshore rigs came offline. There are now 1,023 land, four inland waters and 19 offshore rigs active in the U.S., for a total rig count of 1,046. This is the highest activity level since March 2015, when dozens of rigs were coming offline each week.

Changes in oil and gas-specific activity were unusually small, with only one gas-targeting rig coming online. Oil and miscellaneous rigs were unchanged this week. Such a small change in oil and gas-specific activity is very rare, and has only happened one other time since mid-2014. The new gas rig means there are 200 gas-targeting rigs active in the U.S., a milestone that has not been reached since September 2015. Oil targets account for 844 total rigs, while two rigs are miscellaneous.

Drilling Activity: Rig Count Rises for Seventh-Straight Week

Source: EnerCom Analytics

The three trajectories saw larger changes in rig counts, with six vertical rigs coming online and six directional rigs shutting down. One horizontal rig also began drilling, meaning there are 919, 66 and 61 horizontal, directional and vertical rigs, respectively.

Permian activity continues to rise

Activity continued to concentrate in the Permian this week, with four rigs coming online in the basin. There are now 467 rigs in the Permian, or 44.6% of all rigs in the country. Two rigs also began drilling in the Cana Woodford, while one came online in the Granite Wash. One rig shut down in the Eagle Ford, Mississippian, Utica and Williston.

The shift toward the Permian is apparent in the state rig counts as well, as both Texas and New Mexico added rigs this week. Three began drilling in New Mexico and two in Texas. While both states have other basins where operators are drilling, the Permian accounts for 76% of their combined rig count. The only other area to see an increase was Kansas, where one rig came online. One rig shut down in Alaska, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota and Ohio.

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