Environment and Energy

Active US and Canadian Rig Counts Through October

Written by Brett Linton

The number of active drilling rigs were mixed this week, with counts increasing in the US and falling in Canada, according to data from oilfield services company Baker Hughes. Activity in both the US and Canada has leveled out over the last two weeks and is not quite back to pre-Covid levels. The number of oil and gas rigs in operation is important to the steel industry because it is a leading indicator of demand for oil country tubular goods (OCTG), a key end market for steel sheet.

The number of active US rigs increased by two to 771 rigs, with oil rigs up two, gas rigs unchanged, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged from last week. Compared to this time last year, this week’s US count is up 229 rigs, with oil rigs up 169, gas rigs up 58, and miscellaneous rigs up two. See Figure 1 for a history of active US rig counts.

The Canadian rig count fell by six this week to 210 rigs, with oil rigs down six, gas rigs unchanged, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. This week’s count is up 46 rigs compared to levels one year ago, with oil rigs up 51, gas rigs down five, and miscellaneous rigs unchanged. See Figure 2 for a history of active Canadian rig counts.

International rigs increased by 19 to 879 rigs for the month of September and are up 92 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 most recent report was published last week and is available here for 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 side track 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

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