Introduction: The US drilling rig count rose by double digits for the fifth consecutive week during the week ended Feb. 17.
Data from Baker Hughes Inc. shows the tally of active rigs gained 10 units to 751, an increase of 347 units since a modern era nadir of 404 touched last May 27 (OGJ Online, Feb. 10, 2017). In the last 2 months alone, the count has risen by 114 units.
Onshore rigs climbed by 13 to 730, with horizontal units up 7 to 614 and directional units up 6 to 72. The horizontal count has expanded by 300 since May 27.
The US offshore count dropped 3 units to 18 as it approaches lows not seen since the aftermath of the Macondo deepwater well blowout and crude oil spill. Three rigs remain drilling in inland waters.
Given the Permian’s overall increased drilling activity, the US Energy Information Administration forecasts Permian oil production to rise 70,000 b/d month-over-month in March to 2.25 million b/d (OGJ Online, Feb. 13, 2017). As of January, the basin boasted a suite of 1,757 drilled but uncompleted (DUC) wells, an increase of 84 from the December total.
EIA projects the Eagle Ford to record a 14,000-b/d month-over-month increase in March to 1.077 million b/d, marking the South Texas region’s first rise in Drilling Productivity Report data since late 2015. Its tally of DUC wells during January gained 11 month-over-month to 1,255.
In summary for Texas: Texas is the only oil- and gas-producing state to record an increase with the exception Utah during the week, rising 1 unit to 6. The Permian Basin is driving much of the new drilling activity in Texas and the U.S.
Source: Matt Zborowski, “BHI: US rig count makes fifth straight double-digit jump, Oil & Gas Journal, 17 Feb. 2017