Environment and Energy

Active Drill Rig Counts Rise in U.S. and Canada

Written by Brett Linton

The number of active oil and gas drill rigs increased in both the U.S. and Canada this past week, according to data released Friday by oilfield services company Baker Hughes. The rig count is important to the steel industry because it is a leading indicator of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) demand.

The number of active U.S. rigs rose by 2 to 588 rigs, with oil rigs up 1, gas rigs up 1, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Compared to this time last year, this week’s count is up 228 rigs, with oil rigs up 206, gas rigs up 23, and miscellaneous rigs down 1. See the first graph below for a history of active U.S. rig counts.

The Canadian rig count recovered from the late-December lull, rising 51 to 141 rigs, with oil rigs up 39, gas rigs up 12, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. This week’s count is up 24 rigs over levels one year ago, with oil rigs up 25, gas rigs down 1, and miscellaneous unchanged. See the second graph below for a history of active Canadian rig counts.

International rigs increased by 17 to 834 rigs for the month of December, an increase of 169 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.

For more in-depth information on the energy market, Steel Market Update publishes an “Energy Update” report each month covering oil and natural gas prices, detailed rig count data, and oil stock levels. Our most recent report was published on Dec. 18 for Premium members.

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 sidetracks 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 for at least 15 days of the month. The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count does not include rigs drilling in Russia or onshore China.

By Brett Linton, Brett@SteelMarketUpdate.com

Brett Linton

Read more from Brett Linton

Latest in Environment and Energy