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U.S. Rigs Drop Again; Canada’s Spring Break-Up Continues

The U.S. land rig count continued working lower in the latest tally from Baker Hughes Inc., released on Friday. It’s on its way to a trough of 375-400, according to one firm tracking the action.

The land rig count dropped by another 13 units for the week ending March 11 when there was an exodus of horizontal rigs that saw Texas leading declines among the states.

The land rig decline was offset by three units returning to the offshore and one to the inland waters to yield an overall U.S. decline of nine units. The U.S. count ended at 480 for the week with 450 of these rigs on land.

Cowen and Company is expecting the U.S. land rig count to trough somewhere between 375 and 400 units, the firm’s analysts said in a note published last Thursday.

Fourteen horizontal units left the game in the United States, joined by three vertical rigs; however, directional rigs staged a comeback, adding eight units to their tally. Still, the overwhelming majority of rigs running in the United States are horizontals, which numbered 375 as of last Friday, according to Baker Hughes.

Last week, the U.S. count saw the departure of six oil rigs and three natural gas units. There were 386 oil rigs running and 94 gas-directed units. One year ago there were 866 oil units running and 257 gas rigs.

Texas dropped a dozen rigs in the latest count to end at 215 units running, the biggest loser among the states. The Permian Basin gave up six rigs to end at 152, the biggest loser among plays.

Spring break-up continued in Western Canada. Overall, Canada saw 22 oil rigs and nine natural gas rigs leave action for a total decline for the week of 31. In the prior count, Canada gave up 46 rigs (see Daily GPI, March 4).

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