Environment and Energy

Active Gas & Oil Rig Count in mid-December

Written by Brett Linton


According to Baker Hughes data from December 11, 2015, the U.S rig count for the week was 709 rigs exploring for or developing oil or natural gas. This is a decrease of 28 rigs compared to last week, with oil rigs down 21 to 524 rigs, gas rigs down 7 to 185 rigs, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged at 0 rigs. Compared to this time last year, the 709 count is down 1,184 rigs, with oil rigs down 1,022, gas rigs down 161, and miscellaneous rigs down 1.

The decline in the drilling of new gas and oil wells is having a direct impact on the amount of line pipe, storage tanks, and OCTG that is being used by the energy sector. A good portion of these products come from hot rolled coil or plate substrate, and are reasons for both the short lead times on hot rolled and plate at North American steel producers and the falling steel prices we have seen going back to mid-2014.

The situation in Canada is also down significantly over this time last year. The Canadian rig count decreased by 3 to 174 rigs this past week, with oil rigs down 4 to 73 rigs and gas rigs up 1 to 101 rigs. Compared to last year the 174 count is a decrease of 257 rigs, with oil rigs down 142 and gas rigs down 115. International rigs decreased by 2 to 1,109 rigs for the month of November, a decrease of 215 rigs from the same month one year ago. For a history of both the US and Canadian rig count, visit the Steel Market Update website here.

About the Rotary Rig Count

A rotary rig is one that rotates the drill pipe from the surface to either drill a new well or sidetracking an existing one. They are drilled to explore for, develop and produce oil or natural gas. The Baker Hughes Rotary Rig count includes only those rigs that are significant consumers of oilfield services and supplies.

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 considered active must be on location and drilling. They are considered active from the time they break ground until the time they reach their target depth.

The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count is a monthly census of active drilling rigs exploring for or developing oil or natural gas outside of the United States and Canada. International rigs considered active must be drilling at least 15 days during the month. The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count does not include rigs drilling in Russia or onshore China.

Latest in Environment and Energy