Permian adds four rigs

Drilling activity increased slightly in the U.S. this week, as activity continues to shift mildly, according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes’ Weekly Rig Count. A net two rigs began drilling in the country, meaning there are 1,048 rigs currently active. Total rig counts have hovered around 1,050 rigs since early May, an activity level not seen since March 2015.

Operations shifted in favor or land-based drilling this week, with six such rigs beginning activity. Inland waters rigs dropped sharply, with three rigs, 60% of the total, shutting down. One offshore rig also stopped drilling, leaving 1,030, 2 and 16 land, inland waters and offshore rigs operating in the U.S.

A total of three oil-targeting rigs began drilling this week, while one gas rig shut down. The preference for oil is reaching rarely-seen levels, as 82.2% of all rigs are currently drilling for oil. Baker Hughes, which has been tracking commodity targets since 1987, reports this level has been exceeded in only two periods, mid-2014 and mid-2016.

Drilling shifted toward vertical operations this week, as five vertical rigs came online. Horizontal activity was unchanged, while three directional rigs shut down. Directional rigs still outnumber vertical rigs, though, and have done so for 51 of the past 54 weeks. There are currently 922 horizontal, 64 directional and 62 vertical rigs drilling in the U.S.

Most major states saw slight shifts in rig counts this week, with only five states holding flat. Two rigs began drilling in Pennsylvania, while one came online in Alaska, Kansas, New Mexico, North Dakota, Texas and West Virginia. One shut down in Oklahoma and Ohio. The decreases in rig count were concentrated in Louisiana, though, as virtually all inland waters and offshore rigs are active in Louisiana. Four rigs came offline in the state this week, echoing the drop in inland waters and offshore rigs.

Operations shifted away from drilling in minor basins this week, as such areas saw five rigs shut down. Decreases among major basins were less severe, with one rig shutting down in the Eagle Ford, Haynesville and Utica. Four rigs came online in the Permian, three started drilling in the Marcellus, two began operations in the Granite Wash and one started up in the Williston.

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