Oct. 19–Texas added eight active drilling rigs last week, more than offsetting losses in other states for a net nationwide rig count jump.
The U.S. tacked on four additional net rigs, increasing the nation’s total to 1,067 rigs with more than half of them operating in Texas, according to weekly data collected by Baker Hughes, a GE company.
Alaska, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Pennsylvania all lost rigs. Apart from Texas, California was the only state to see new activity with two new rigs added there. The overall tally of rigs primarily drilling for oil increased by four up to 873. That leaves 194 rigs seeking natural gas.
Out of the 873 oil rigs, well more than half of them — 490 — are situated in West Texas’ booming Permian Basin that also extends into New Mexico. Texas accounts for 540 rigs overall.
Because of pipeline shortages in West Texas, many companies are continuing to drill Permian wells while leaving more of them uncompleted for the time being until new pipelines come online.
The total count is up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May 2016.
South Texas’Eagle Ford shale added two rigs for the week. The Eagle Ford remains the next most active area after the Permian with 79 rigs, although that number is closer to 100 if additional neighboring counties were counted. Oklahoma’s Cana-Woodford shale with is next with 63 rigs. Statewide, Oklahoma ranks second after Texas with 141 rigs. New Mexico is next with 100 rigs.
With this week’s jump, the oil rig count is down 46 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting. However, rigs today are able to drill more wells than before and to deeper depths to produce more oil and gas. That’s largely why the U.S. is producing record volumes of both crude oil and natural gas.
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