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Five NatGas Rigs Leave as Nine U.S. Oil Rigs Return

Texas and Alaska had the most to gain from the bounce at the bottom of the long-running rig count decline as eight U.S. land-based drilling rigs returned to play during the week ending June 3, according to Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI). Natural gas rigs, however, missed the party.

The land rig bounce, to a tally of 382, was offset by a decline of one unit in the inland waters and three offshore rigs to make for a net U.S. gain of four rigs to a total of 408.

Nine oil-directed rigs returned, offset by the departure of five natural gas-focused units. At week's end, there were 325 oil rigs and 82 gas rigs running in the United States. Five horizontal rigs returned while one vertical unit left.

Texas and Alaska gained a net of three rigs each, while New Mexico saw the return of two rigs. Oklahoma and Pennsylvania each lost two rigs, and Louisiana dropped by one.

The Permian Basin added five units. Other leading plays were static except for the Marcellus Shale and Cana Woodford, which each lost two rigs,

Canada lost two rigs to end at 41 active units overall. One oil and one miscellaneous rig left; gas rigs were static.

In a note published Tuesday prior to the latest rig count, analysts at Raymond James & Associates Inc. pretty much called the bottom of the decline, as did other analysts. "...[W]e believe the U.S. rig count is currently at or near the bottom and a modest recovery is in store for the back half of 2016 from today's [approximately] 400 rig count level," Raymond James said (see Shale DailyMay 31).

Analysts at Cowen and Company said in a Thursday note that their proprietary count showed the U.S. land rig census up by 14 to 389 for the week. "In the past four weeks, land rigs are up 23 with oil rigs up 17, gas up four and other up two," the firm said.

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