US Oil Rig Count Drops by 2, Total Rigs Now Up 412 Year Over Year

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In the week ended October 6, 2017, the number of rigs drilling for oil in the United States totaled 748, down by two compared with the prior week and up by 320 from a total of 428 a year ago. Including 187 other rigs drilling for natural gas and one listed as miscellaneous, there are a total of 936 working rigs in the country, four fewer week over week and up by 412 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 $50.79 a barrel on Thursday and traded down about nearly 3% Friday afternoon at $49.34 shortly before regular trading closed Friday.

The natural gas rig count decreased by two to a total of 187 this week. The count for natural gas rigs is now up by 93 year over year. Natural gas for November delivery traded down about 2% at around $2.86 per million BTUs before the count was released and remained essentially flat afterward.

The total number of horizontal wells fell by two last week to 792 of the 936 total U.S. wells working. Canada lost one new oil well last week, bringing that country’s total rig count to 209 and the North American total to 1,145, more than double the 689 working rigs at the same time last year.

Among the states, Texas lost three rings this week, while Pennsylvania and Wyoming lost two each and Louisiana lost one rig. Oklahoma added three rigs and Colorado added one new rig.

In the Permian Basin of west Texas and southeastern New Mexico, the rig count now stands at 383, two fewer compared with the previous week’s count. The Eagle Ford Basin in south Texas has 69 rigs in operation, up by one week over week, and the Williston Basin (Bakken) in North Dakota and Montana now has 50 working rigs, unchanged for the week.