Environment and Energy

Active US and Canadian Rig Counts Starting to Slip

Written by Brett Linton

The number of active drilling rigs declined in both the US and Canada this week, according to data from 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 demand for oil country tubular goods (OCTG).

The number of active US rigs fell by one to 759 rigs, with oil rigs down five, gas rigs up four, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged from last week. Compared to this time last year, this week’s US count is up 256 rigs, with oil rigs up 190, gas rigs up 65, and miscellaneous rigs up one. See Figure 1 for a history of active US rig counts.

The Canadian rig count declined by three this week to 205 rigs, with oil rigs down three, and gas and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. This week’s count is up 62 rigs compared to levels one year ago, with oil rigs up 53, gas rigs up nine, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. See Figure 2 for a history of active Canadian rig counts.

International rigs increased by 27 to 860 rigs for the month of August and are up 83 rigs from the same month one year ago.

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 for our Premium members.

For a history of both the US 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 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 US 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 US 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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