In the week ended September 22, 2017, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States totaled 744, down by five compared with the prior week and up by 326 compared with a total of 418 a year ago. Including 190 other rigs drilling for natural gas and one listed as miscellaneous, there are a total of 935 working rigs in the country, one less than a week ago and up by 424 year over year. The data come from the latest Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count released on Friday.
West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil for November delivery settled at $50.55 a barrel on Thursday and traded down about 0.3% Friday afternoon to $50.43 shortly before regular trading closed.
The natural gas rig count increased by four to a total of 190 this week. The count for natural gas rigs is now up by 98 year over year. Natural gas for October delivery traded up about 0.9% at around $2.97 per million BTUs before the count was released and remained essentially flat afterward.
The total number of horizontal wells shrank by five last week to 790 of the 935 total wells working. Canada added 10 new oil wells last week, bringing that country’s total rig count to 220 and the North American total to 1,155, more than double the 506 working rigs at the same time last year.
Among the states, North Dakota and Oklahoma lost three rigs each this week while Colorado lost two. Louisiana added three rigs while Alaska, New Mexico and Texas each added one rig during the week.
In the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, the rig count now stands at 386, six more than the previous week’s count. The Eagle Ford Basin in south Texas has 68 rigs in operation, three fewer week over week, and the Williston Basin (Bakken) in North Dakota and Montana now has 49 working rigs, down three for the week.