Activity continues to hover near 1,050; South Dakota adds first rig since before the downturn

Drilling activity rose in the U.S. once again this week, according to the latest edition of Baker Hughes Weekly Rig Count.

A net seven rigs began drilling in the week, spread between land, inland waters and offshore operations. Four land-based rigs came online, in addition to two inland waters and one offshore rig. This means there are now 1,030 land, five inland waters and 20 offshore rigs active in the country. This is the highest inland waters count since mid-July. Overall, there are 1,055 rigs active in the U.S., as operators continue to maintain a rough equilibrium around 1,050.

While most other categories saw widespread change, the new rigs were very concentrated in terms commodity targeted. Seven rigs began drilling for oil in the week, while gas and miscellaneous targets were unchanged. There are now 867 oil, 186 gas and two miscellaneous rigs active in the U.S.

Drilling shifted in favor of directional trajectories this week, with six such rigs coming online. Three horizontal rigs also began drilling, while two vertical rigs shut down. This means there are now 921 horizontal rigs, or 87.3% of the overall U.S. rig count. This is down slightly from the proportion seen earlier this year, as 88.5% of rigs were horizontal in early May.

South Dakota sees first rig since 2014

There was extensive shuffling among individual states, as many states saw changes in rig count. Three rigs came online in the Louisiana and Pennsylvania, while two began drilling in Colorado and Oklahoma. One rig started activities in Alaska, North Dakota and South Dakota. This is the first rig in South Dakota since November 2014. One rig shut down in New Mexico, Ohio and Wyoming, while three came offline in Texas.

Shifts in basin targets, however, were much more muted, with most basins holding steady this week. Two rigs began drilling in the DJ-Niobrara and Marcellus, while one came online in the Mississippian and Williston and one shut down in the Permian.

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