Amid modest declines in both oil- and natural gas-directed drilling, the U.S. rig count fell three units to 768 for the week ended Friday (Oct. 28), according to the latest tally from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).


Changes in the United States for the week included a two-rig decrease in oil drilling, with natural gas drilling down one. Land drilling declined by one, with one rig exiting the Gulf of Mexico and another rig exiting from inland waters. A five-rig decrease in horizontal rigs domestically was partially offset by a two-rig increase in directional drilling.

The combined 768 active U.S. rigs as of Friday compares with 544 rigs running in the year-earlier period, according to the BKR numbers, which are partly based on data from Enverus.

The Canadian rig count climbed two units for the week to end at 212, up from 166 in the year-earlier period. Gains there included one oil-directed rig and one natural gas-directed unit.

In terms of changes by drilling region, the Cana Woodford added two rigs for the period, with the Arkoma Woodford adding one rig. The Eagle Ford Shale, Granite Wash and Williston Basin each posted one-rig declines.

Counting by state, Texas saw a net decline of three rigs week/week, with Louisiana and North Dakota each dropping two rigs from their respective totals. On the other side of the ledger, Alaska, New Mexico and Oklahoma each posted one-rig gains for the period, the BKR data show.

Domestic crude production held even during the week-earlier period as demand dipped slightly and inventories edged up, according to updated data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

U.S. exploration and production (E&P) companies kept output for the week ended Oct. 21 at 12.0 million b/d, flat with the prior week and roughly in line with the level maintained through the fall, EIA said in its latest Weekly Petroleum Status Report.

E&Ps this year have tried to align production with demand that bounced back from the pandemic early this year. They raised production to a pandemic-era high of 12.2 million b/d at points in the summer but have scaled back modestly as demand has leveled off amid high energy prices, overall inflation and slowing economic activity in recent months.