One natural gas rig and six oil rigs were added across the United States on Friday from a week earlier, with North Dakota's Williston Basin gaining three and two rigs each raised in Alaska, Colorado and New Mexico, Baker Hughes Inc. reported.
The biggest loss rig-wise for the week was in Oklahoma, where operators are working myriad stacked reservoirs, which saw four rigs pulled.
According to the weekly tally from Baker Hughes for the week ending Friday, 186 U.S. natural gas rigs and 747 domestic oil rigs were running, sharply higher from a year ago when 86 gas rigs and 337 oil rigs were in operation.
Canada for the week added 10 gas rigs to bring the total to 68, while it raised 17 oil rigs for a total of 91. The gains also were sharply ahead of a year ago, when Canada was running 40 gas rigs and 28 oil rigs.
Although Texas added no rigs for the week, the total rig count still far and away exceeds any other state basin with 460 total. Texas rigs were concentrated in the Permian Basin with a whopping 368, followed by the Eagle Ford Shale with 84.
The resurgent Haynesville Shale, which straddles East Texas and North Louisiana, lost one rig for the week to rest at 40 rigs, but it was trailing the Marcellus Shale by only five and was sharply ahead of the Utica Shale's 28 rigs. A year ago, the Haynesville had 17 rigs in operation, while the Marcellus had 24 and Utica had 12.
Oklahoma's Cana Woodford formation registered 59 rigs working at the end of the week, down one week/week, while the count was three higher at 49 in the Williston.
As the Dakota Access Pipeline ramps up to carry Bakken Shale crude from the Williston, anemic oil prices should retreat, according to Justin Kringstad, director of the North Dakota Pipeline Authority. It may take "at least six months" to determine if the pipe helps raise crude oil prices from the Williston, he said.
As of Friday, Barnett Shale was down one rig week/week to end at seven, while the Mississippian Lime also lost one to end at eight.
Horizontal rigs continue to be the leaders at 782 for the week, a gain of two from the previous seven days, but there were three directional rigs added to bring the total to 69, and one vertical rig added to end at 82.