Friday, May 11, 2012

U.S. Rig Count: +9 to 1,974

The Baker Hughes rig count showed a nine rig increase, bringing the number of working rigs in the U.S. to 1,974. Oil rigs were up 17 to 1,372, gas rigs broke the 600 rig mark, down eight to 598, and miscellaneous rigs held at four. By type, horizontal rigs were up 29 to 1,187, vertical rigs were down 14 to 559 and directional rigs were down six to 228.

Looking more closely at just gas rigs, horizontal rigs were up four to 412, directional rigs were up two to 111 and vertical rigs were down 14 to 75.

To further illuminate the chart above, data shows that the bulk of the decrease in gas rigs over the past six months has come from a decline in horizontal rigs (to nobody's surprise). As the chart below shows, horizontal gas rigs have dropped by 233 rigs (or 36%) in the little more than five months since the end of October. The decline has leveled out over the past month, but I wouldn't be ready to call an end to the slide. Over that same period, vertical gas rigs have dropped by a greater percentage (-53%), but that only represents 85 rigs.

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