Environment and Energy

Decline in Active Gas & Oil Rig Counts

Written by Brett Linton


Active U.S. and Canadian drill rigs declined this past week, according to oilfield services company Baker Hughes. The active drill rigs count is important to the steel industry because it is a leading indicator of oil country tubular goods demand.

The number of active U.S. rigs fell by 44 to 728, with oil rigs down 40, gas rigs down 4, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Compared to this time last year, the 728 count is down 278 rigs, with oil rigs down 192, gas rigs down 88, and miscellaneous rigs up 2. See the first graph below for a history of active U.S. rig counts.

The Canadian rig count decreased by 44 last week to 54 rigs, with oil rigs down 34 and gas rigs down 10. Compared to last year, the 54 count is down 34 rigs, with oil rigs down 17 and gas rigs down 17. See the second graph below for a history of active Canadian rig counts.

International rigs increased by 7 to 1,085 rigs for the month of February, an increase of 58 rigs from the same month one year ago. For a history of both the U.S. and Canadian rig count, visit the Rig Count page on 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 sidetrack 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.

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