The U.S. natural gas rig count increased by one to reach 120 during the week ended Friday (Jan. 17), while the oil patch rebounded in a big way following declines in recent weeks, according to the latest numbers from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).
U.S. drillers added 14 oil-directed rigs for the week, helping to grow the combined domestic tally to 796. That’s down from 1,050 rigs in the year-ago period. Land drilling increased by 16 rigs, partially offset by the departure of one rig from the Gulf of Mexico.
One directional rig exited the patch in the United States for the week, while 11 horizontal rigs and five vertical rigs were added.
In Canada, meanwhile, 41 rigs joined the patch week/week, including 32 oil-directed and nine gas-directed. The Canadian rig count ended the week at 244, up from 209 a year ago.
The combined North American rig count ended the week at 1,040, down from 1,259 at this time last year.
Among plays, the Permian Basin added six rigs for the week to grow its tally to 403 (481 a year ago). The Eagle Ford Shale and the Williston Basin each picked up two rigs week/week, while the Ardmore Woodford added one. The Granite Wash, meanwhile, saw its lone rig pack up shop during the week, according to BKR.
Among states, Texas added five rigs to grow its total to 401, down from 521 a year ago. Alaska, New Mexico and North Dakota each added three rigs, while Oklahoma, Utah and Wyoming each added one. Louisiana’s rig count dropped one unit week/week to fall to 54, versus 61 in the year-ago period.
Right-sizing its North America business helped Schlumberger Ltd., the No. 1 oilfield services operator in the world, overcome an end-of-year slump in Lower 48 activity.
After warning of a decline in North American activity during a 3Q2019 conference call, the company answered in kind, CEO Olivier Le Peuch told analysts on Friday.
“We initiated our scale-to-fit strategy in North America land amid continued challenging market conditions, removed structural costs to protect margins, and accelerated technology access business models and asset-light operations transformation,” he said.
Revenue totaled $8.2 billion in 4Q2019, off 1% from a year ago and 4% sequentially. North America notably brought the overall bottom line lower, with revenue of $2.5 billion in the quarter, down 14% sequentially and 15% from a year ago on “customer budget exhaustion and cash flow constraints,” said the CEO.
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