Texas rigs have been coming back and so have the oil and natural gas jobs, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) and the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC).
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U.S. drillers added just one land-based rig during the week ending Friday, according to Baker Hughes Inc. Another rig rejoined the offshore fleet to make for an overall gain of two. Oil rigs were favored over gas as one industry analyst said gas production needs to step up in the months ahead.
During the last week of 2016, calm had settled over the U.S. energy patch and only a relative handful of rigs were stirring, according to the Baker Hughes Inc. rig count released Friday.
In the last Baker Hughes Inc. rig count of 2016, seven U.S. land-based rigs came back to service to end the year with 634 active; two departed offshore service to make for a net increase of five U.S. rigs from the previous week. That brought the year-end tally of U.S. actives to 658, which is 40 fewer than a year ago.
Anyone doing the mannequin challenge in the Permian Basin in recent days ran the risk of a drilling rig landing on top of them. Drillers again voted with their bits during the week ending Friday, opting — as they have previously — for oil from the Texas side of the Permian Basin.
Overall, 27 U.S. land-based rigs came back to play, lifting that tally to 601 for the week ending Friday, which is creeping back to the year-ago level of 684 active. But only six of them were natural gas rigs, according to the latest Baker Hughes Inc. data.
In the latest survey of drilling activity tallied by Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) and NGI, the Permian Basin’s Delaware sub-basin added four more rigs to end the week at 89 active. That likely doesn’t surprise those who attended the recent Enercom industry conference.
Looking ahead to next year, Societe Generale analyst Breanne Dougherty says natural gas demand growth “is all but certain” and drillers will have to step up.
The Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) U.S. land rig count gained again during the week ending June 10, and with increasing confidence, analysts following the drilling and services sector have been calling a bottom to the long-running activity decline.