The U.S. natural gas rig count fell one unit to 96 for the week ended Friday (June 11), while the oil patch continued to add to its numbers, lifting the overall domestic drilling tally in the process, the latest data from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR) show.
Oil-directed drilling increased by six units in the United States for the week, lifting the United States to a combined 461 active rigs as of Friday. That compares with 279 rigs running in the year-ago period, according to the BKR numbers, which are based partly on data from Enverus.
Land drilling increased by five rigs domestically for the week, while the Gulf of Mexico remained unchanged with 13 rigs. Horizontal drilling increased by five units for the week; vertical units increased by one, while directional rigs declined by one overall.
The Canadian rig count increased by 16 rigs week/week — all oil-directed — to reach 93 as of Friday. That’s up sharply from 21 active rigs at this time last year.
Broken down by play, the Permian Basin saw the largest net increase for the week, adding four rigs to raise its total to 236, up from 137 in the year-ago period. Elsewhere, the Haynesville Shale added one rig. The Utica Shale saw two rigs exit.
Broken down by state, Texas and Wyoming each added three rigs, while New Mexico picked up two rigs during the period. One rig was added in West Virginia. Meanwhile, two rigs departed Ohio for the week, while Alaska and Pennsylvania each saw one rig exit overall, according to the BKR numbers.
The week brought some major news for the energy industry as Keystone XL, a long-stalled oil export pipeline and a political lightning rod, was officially canceled. As project leader, TC Energy Corp. recorded a C$2.2 billion ($1.8 billion) loss after President Biden kept a 2020 election promise to scrap a permit granted by former President Trump that had allowed Keystone to begin construction.
The formal termination transfers about half the loss to the Alberta government.
“We remain disappointed and frustrated,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. By the time Biden acted, up to 1,600 workers had installed nearly 150 kilometers (90 miles) of Keystone pipe in Canada. TC Energy also had started building pump stations in the Lower 48.
“The pipeline’s completion would have led to higher prices as well as increased volumes of oilsands crude production, generating at least C$30 billion [$24 billion] in increased royalties over 20 years for Alberta taxpayers,” Alberta government officials noted.
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