When Wile E. Coyote falls off a cliff, he hits a branch or two on the way down. The U.S. rig count did that last week, but now it's plummeting again, according to Baker Hughes Inc.
On Friday Baker Hughes said the U.S. count had fallen 12 to land at 775, just 40% of its year-ago level. Eleven U.S. land rigs were lost, and two gave it up in the offshore while one unit was added in inland waters. Two rigs left the U.S. Gulf of Mexico. The departure of 16 oil-directed rigs was offset somewhat by the return of four natural gas rigs to yield the net loss of 12. Fourteen horizontal rigs left, as did one directional unit, but three vertical rigs came back.
Canada added one natural gas-directed rig while the oil rig count held steady, yielding an overall Canadian count of 191 rigs running, not quite 45% of the year-ago tally.
Overall, North America was down a net of 11 rigs, landing at 966 running, which is 41% of the year-ago level.
In the United States, oil/gas powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma were the biggest losers, dropping seven and six rigs, respectively. Texas has lost 18 rigs since the first tally of October (Oct.2), with Railroad Commission of Texas District 8 (home of the Permian Basin) seeing the biggest retreat (from 153 on Oct. 2 to 138 on Friday). During the same period, Oklahoma has lost 13 rigs, dropping from 97 to 84.
In the most recent count, the Permian held steady at 229 rigs running, while the Eagle Ford Shale gave up two to end at 75. Louisiana dropped two rigs, but New Mexico added two.
The Marcellus Shale was steady at 43 rigs running, a tad more than half of the year-ago tally of 84. The Utica Shale lost one rig to end at 21; it had 46 rigs running a year ago.
The previous weekly count saw the U.S. tally of active rigs static at 787 units (see Shale Daily, Oct. 23).