Oil & Natural Gas Rig Count: Nat Gas 79% Below Peak

Written by Peter Wright

The Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count is a weekly census of the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the United States and Canada. Rigs are considered active from the time they break ground until the time they reach their target depth and may be establishing a new well or sidetracking an existing one. The Baker Hughes Rotary Rig count includes only those rigs that are significant consumers of oilfield services and supplies.

Figure 2 shows that the oil rig count has been trending flat for 18 months but is still close to a high point for the last 2 ½ decades. The gas rig count is still trending down and is currently 79 percent below the peak of September 2008.  

On a regional basis the big three states for operating rigs are now Texas at 843, Oklahoma at 181 and North Dakota at 166. Off shore drilling has recovered from the BP oil spill in 2010 but is still not back to where it was at the beginning of the last decade.

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