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Photo: Ralph Kelley

Permian rig count up, Marcellus down

While the gain in the rig count is less than it has been the past few weeks, today’s number still shows an increase of 7 new rigs exploring for oil and gas, according to the latest numbers from Baker Hughes. 

It isn’t surprising that the Permian Basin is still the hot spot, with an increase of 7 new rigs for a total of 349 rigs currently exploring for oil and gas. That number is up 210 from last year at this time. The Permian has consistently seen the most activity, as well as production, in the past several months. The Eagle Ford, with 83 rigs currently exploring for oil and gas, boasts the next highest number. The Eagle Ford remained stagnant this week with neither a gain nor a loss.

The Gulf of Mexico saw an increase of 1 new rig, while Alaska increased by 2, Colorado increased by 1, Louisiana gained 4, Texas gained 6, and Wyoming’s count went up by 2. North Dakota saw a loss of 1 rig exploring for oil and gas, West Virginia and Pennsylvania each lost 2, and Oklahoma saw a big cut of 7 rigs.

By basin, here are the numbers:

Basin This week +/1
Ardmore Woodford 1 -1
Arkoma Woodford 9 -1
Barnett 6 0
Cana Woodford 51 -4
DJ-Niobrara 25 0
Eagle Ford 83 0
Fayetteville 1 0
Granite Wash 10 0
Haynesville 39 1
Marcellus 43 -3
Mississippian 7 -1
Permian 349 7
Utica 23 0
Williston 43 -1

Rig Count isn’t the only indicator

While the Baker Hughes rig count is an important measure for the health of the oil and gas industry, don’t forget that there are many other factors that affect the health of the industry. Some of those factors include production numbers, consumption, and efficiency. Many of the wells currently pumping oil are far more efficient and productive than even 5 years ago, so the rig count isn’t  The Baker Hughes “Rotary Rig Count” serves as a great tool for analyzing the industry from a historical standpoint, since data has been collected and reported for 60 years.

A rotary rig “rotates the drill pipe from surface to drill a new well (or sidetracking an existing one) to explore for, develop and produce oil or natural gas.” For a more rounded understanding of the industry, don’t forget to check out the Drilling Productivity Report as well, last issued April 17 by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA).

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