U.S. Rig Count Edges Up


"U.S. E&P rigs totaled 1,685—the highest level achieved this year."

In its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes reported a rise in the U.S. rig count, primarily reflecting an increase in the inland water rig count.

U.S. E&P rigs totaled 1,685 for the week ended November 12, 2010—up by two rigs from the previous week and represents the highest level achieved this year. The current nationwide rig count is 92% higher than the 2009 low of 876 (set in the week ended June 12, 2009) and significantly exceeding the prior-year level of 1,101. It rose to a 22-year high in 2008, peaking to 2,031 in the weeks ending August 29 and September 12.

Rigs engaged in inland waters climbed by two rigs to 20, while land operations and offshore activity remained steady at 1,642 and 23, respectively.

The natural gas rig count, which has fallen three times in the last five weeks, remained unchanged from the previous week at 955. The current number of gas-directed rigs is just 37 short of an 18-month high reached during mid-August rebounding strongly after bottoming out to a 7-year low of 665 on July 17, 2009. Still, the rig count remains 41% below its peak of 1,606 in late summer 2008. In the year-ago period, there were 728 active natural gas rigs.

The oil rig count was up by 2 rigs to 720, the 14th gain in the last 17 weeks. The current tally is considerably higher than the previous year’s rig count of 361. It has recovered nicely from a low of 179 in June 2009, more than quadrupling in number.

The miscellaneous rig count (primarily drilling for geothermal energy) at 10 remained unchanged from the previous week.

The number of vertical drilling rigs was up 14 to 536, while the horizontal/directional rig count fell by 12 to 1,149.

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