Environment and Energy

Active Drill Rig Count Rising in US, Slowing in Canada

Written by Brett Linton

Total active drilling rigs in the US increased this week, while Canadian rigs declined further, according to recent data released by oilfield services company Baker Hughes. The number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in operation is important to the steel industry because it is a leading indicator of oil country tubular goods (OCTG) demand.

The number of active US rigs rose by 16 to 689 rigs, with oil rigs up 13, gas rigs up 3, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. Compared to this time last year, this week’s count is up 257 rigs, with oil rigs up 209, gas rigs up 48, and and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. See the first graph below for a history of active US rig counts.

The Canadian rig count decreased by 13 to 111 rigs, with oil rigs down 11 and gas rigs down 2. This week’s count is up 53 rigs compared to levels one year ago, with oil rigs up 34 and gas rigs up 19. See the second graph below for a history of active Canadian rig counts.

International rigs increased by 2 to 815 rigs for the month of March, an increase of 100 rigs from the same month one year ago. For a history of both the US 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 next report will be published next week to our 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 to 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 for at least 15 days of the month. The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count does not include rigs drilling in Russia or onshore in China.

By Brett Linton, Brett@SteelMarketUpdate.com

Brett Linton

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