A decline in Gulf of Mexico (GOM) drilling activity helped ease the U.S. rig count one unit lower to 727 for the week ended Friday (May 27), updated figures from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) show.

shale count

Total GOM rigs fell two units to 15 for the period, while land drilling increased by one rig overall, according to the BKR numbers, which are based partly on data from Enverus.

Changes domestically for the week included a two-rig decline in oil-directed drilling, partially offset by a net gain of one natural gas-directed rig. The 727 active U.S. rigs as of Friday represent a 270-rig increase over the 457 rigs active in the year-earlier period.

Three directional rigs exited the patch in the United States for the week, while two horizontal rigs were added. Directional drilling was unchanged week/week, the BKR data show.

The Canadian rig count, meanwhile, surged 15 units higher to reach 103 for the period, with the net increase entirely resulting from a jump higher in oil-directed drilling. The Canadian count ended the week 41 units ahead of its year-earlier total of 62.

Broken down by major basin, there were small adjustments spread across a variety of drilling areas during the week, according to the BKR numbers. The Arkoma Woodford, Cana Woodford, Denver Julesburg-Niobrara, Eagle Ford Shale and Mississippian Lime each saw net increases of one rig. On the other side of the ledger, the Granite Wash, Haynesville Shale and Permian Basin each posted one-rig declines.

Counting by state, Louisiana saw a net loss of three rigs week/week. Oklahoma and Texas added one rig each, BKR data show.

According to the most recently available Energy Information Administration (EIA) data, American crude producers in the week-earlier period held output at the high point for the year, while demand for petroleum products was flat week/week amid soaring prices.

U.S. oil production totaled 11.9 million b/d for the week ended May 20, on par with the prior week and the 2022 peak, according to EIA’s latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

Output remains more than 1 million b/d below the pre-pandemic highs of early 2020 as producers try to strike a balance between investments in renewable energy and demand for more oil. With crude prices this spring consistently hanging above $100/bbl, however, more producers are increasingly active, with output up 900,000 b/d from a year earlier.