Total U.S. rig count climbs up again

The number of rigs continued to rise this week following OPEC’s agreement to cut 1.2 MMBOPD of production.

The total number of active rigs in the United States reached 597 for the week ended December 2, 2016, according to Baker Hughes Industries (ticker: BHI), up four from last week.

The number of rigs targeting oil increased by three to 477, while those drilling for gas increased by one to 119. One “miscellaneous” rig continues to operate in the U.S. as well, according to the report. Both oil and gas rigs remain down from their levels last year, but have steadily been climbing back up with oil prices.

The Permian continues to be the main focus of attention for U.S. operators, with seven additional rigs added to the area this week bringing the total to 235, 18 more than this time last year, and nearly six-times as many rigs as the next most-active play – the Eagle Ford. Along with increases in the Permian, the Haynesville reported three additional rigs, and the Barnett and the Eagle Ford reported two more rigs each. The DJ and the Williston both reported two fewer rigs this week compared to last week.

North American rig count for the week ended December 2, 2016

“The Permian’s 7 rigs adds this week continue to cement the basin’s pre-eminent status amid middling prices,” said a note from Baird. “However, we see increased opportunity for capital deployment in other basins if WTI can further build upon this week’s uplift. On the gas side, the Haynesville continues to re-assert its merit with 3 rig adds, taking the play’s total rigs to 26, the highest in a year.”

The Canadian rig count jumped by 26 rigs week-over-week to 200, up 23 from this time last year. Canada’s rigs are split almost evenly between those drilling for oil (100) and those drilling for gas (98) with just two miscellaneous rigs, but this week’s jump was driven largely by those searching for natural gas. The number of rigs targeting gas in Canada increased by 20 this week, while those drilling for oil increased by six.

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