US Rig Count Still Dragging at a Three-Year Low
At the end of last week, the number of operating oil and gas rigs in the U.S. remained unchanged from the previous week and was still stuck at a three-year low, according to data released in the latest Baker Hughes rig count.
The U.S. had 790 oil and gas drilling rigs last week, which was down 261 rigs from the same time last year. There have been undramatic changes to the rig count for weeks as oil prices have been stubbornly below $55 since the beginning of this year.
In response the plummeting prices, oil and gas operators counteracted by tightening budgets, pulling back on exploration and production, and focusing on maintaining existing projects. Thus, the absence of any drilling activity spikes.
Texas still claims 397 active rigs, about half of the nation’s total.
Last week Canada lost two rigs from the prior week resulting in 255 active rigs. Internationally, the rig count fell by 26 to land at 1,078.
The rig count has long been a historical temperature check for industry activity. It makes sense that more rigs become active when prices rise, but it can take a period of sustained higher prices before drillers are confident enough to make the leap. Rigzone contributor Jude Clemente recently explored this and other rig count caveats here.
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