975 rigs drilling today; Permian adds 10; horizontal rigs add 24 and are 85% of all U.S. drilling activity

Unconventional drilling activity came roaring back this week, according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes’ Weekly Rig Count.

The total number of rigs active in the U.S. increased by 29 this week, the largest single week jump since January 2017. There are now 975 rigs active in the U.S, the highest rig count since April 2015.

Land activity accounts for almost all of the weekly increase, as 28 land-based rigs came online while one inland waters rig became active. There are now 957 land, two inland waters and 16 offshore rigs drilling in the U.S.

Activity shifted heavily in favor of oil drilling this week, as 26 oil rigs came online. Like the change in overall activity, this is the largest jump in oil drilling since January 2017. Gas drilling increased by three. There are now 791 oil-targeting rigs and 184 gas-targeting rigs active in the U.S.

Horizontal drilling increased sharply, with 24 horizontal rigs coming online this week. Vertical and directional operations both also rose, but not nearly as rapidly as horizontal. Four vertical rigs came online, while one directional rig began activity. Horizontal drilling now accounts for 85.3% of all U.S. activity, down slightly from the all-time high of 86.4% set in early January 2018.

Texas adds 14 – 10 in the Permian

The most popular states saw the largest increases this week, as Texas added 14 rigs. Another four came online in Wyoming and North Dakota, while three came online in New Mexico and Louisiana. One became active in Kansas and Oklahoma, while one shut down in Colorado.

Activity concentrated in the Permian, which added ten rigs in the week. Four rigs came online in the Williston, while three became active in the Eagle Ford and Haynesville. One rig also started drilling in the Ardmore Woodford, while one shut down in the Granite Wash. Two rigs came offline in the Cana Woodford. Smaller basins not individually tracked by Baker added 11 rigs, and now account for about 18% of all activity.

This increase in activity comes despite recently falling oil prices, as oil is trading below $60 for the first time this year. Oil prices, like most other assets, have had a rough February so far, and are down about 10.5% from peaks reached on the 2nd. “The market is adapting to the fact that we are going to have oil inventories increase,” Rob Thummel, a portfolio manager at energy investment firm Tortoise Capital, told CNN. The stock market’s volatile week has also pressured oil prices, because investors pulled money out of stocks and took safe haven in the dollar, Thummel said.

U.S. Rig Count Hits Highest Level in Three Years

Source: EnerCom Analytics

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