U.S. Rig Count Snaps 12 Weeks of Gains
Source: Seeking Alpha, Zacks††(9/7/10)
"Rigs exploring and producing in the U.S. totaled 1,653 for the week."
Rigs engaged in land operations fell by three to 1,619, while inland waters and offshore activity remained steady at 14 and 20, respectively.
Natural Gas Rig Count
The natural gas rig count increased for the first time in three weeks to 977 (up four from the week prior). In August, the number of gas-directed rigs hit 992, an 18-month high. The U.S. gas drilling rig count has rebounded strongly after bottoming out to a seven-year low of 665 on July 17, 2009. Still, the rig count remains 39% lower than its late-summer 2008 peak of 1,606. In the year-ago period, there were 701 active natural gas rigs.
Oil Rig Count
The oil rig count was down by seven to 665, the first decline in seven weeks. Despite the week-over-week fall, the current tally is considerably higher than the previous year's rig count of 295. It has recovered nicely from a low of 179 in June 2009, nearly quadrupling in number.
Miscellaneous Rig Count
The miscellaneous rig count (primarily drilling for geothermal energy), at 11, remained unchanged from the week prior.
Rig Count by Type
The number of vertical drilling rigs was up one to 528. On the other hand, horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology that has the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) fell by four to 1,125.