The U.S. natural gas rig count rose four units to 161 during the week ended Friday (Aug. 5), while a seven-rig decline in oil-directed drilling dropped the overall domestic tally three units to 764, according to the latest count from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).
The 764 active rigs as of Friday represents a 273-rig increase year/year, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.
Land drilling was unchanged overall in the United States for the period, while two inland waters rigs and one offshore rig packed up shop. Vertical drilling declined by three units domestically, while directional drilling declined one unit overall; partially offsetting was a one-rig increase in total horizontal rigs.
The Canadian rig count declined one unit to finish the week at 203, according to the BKR data. Changes there included a three-rig increase in oil-directed drilling and a four-rig decline in natural gas-directed activity.
Broken down by major region, the Permian Basin dropped four rigs from its total week/week, falling to 347 rigs overall, up from 243 in the year-earlier period. The Ardmore Woodford, Denver-Julesburg Niobrara, Granite Wash and Williston Basin each added one rig week/week. The Cana Woodford, meanwhile, dropped one rig from its total.
Counting by state, New Mexico posted the largest decline overall, dropping six rigs to see its total fall to 104. Louisiana, meanwhile, posted a three-rig decline for the period.
On the other side of the ledger, Colorado and Texas each added two rigs, while North Dakota and Wyoming each added one, the BKR data show.
OPEC-plus, the consortium of global oil producers led by Saudi Arabia in partnership with Russia, agreed on Wednesday to only a modest increase in production next month.
The group agreed to lift output by 100,000 b/d in September, bringing its total production target back to pre-pandemic levels after a long recovery from the depths of the pandemic in 2020.
U.S. production, meanwhile, was flat for the week ended July 29, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) said Wednesday in its Weekly Petroleum Status Report.
Producers churned out an average over 12.1 million b/d. That was on par with not only the prior week but also the 2022 peak. Still, production remains about 1 million b/d below the pre-pandemic high in early 2020.
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