US rig count falls by 1 to 935: Baker Hughes
Houston, 22 September (Argus) — The US drilling rig count fell for a second week, as producers continue to recover from the slowdown in drilling after Hurricane Harvey.
The total fell by one to 935, according to weekly data from Baker Hughes. Oil-directed rigs fell by five to 744, while those looking for gas rose by four to 190. The total is about 83pc higher from a year earlier as producers ramped up activity in the first half of this year.
By state, Louisiana added the most, at three, followed by Alaska, New Mexico and Texas, which each added one rig.
North Dakota and Oklahoma both declined by three, while Colorado declined by two rigs.
The Permian basin added six, while the Arkoma Woodford basin added one. Several other basins notched declines, including Eagle Ford and Williston, which both fell by three.
Despite the rig decline, US shale crude output is expected to rise by 79,000 b/d to 6.08mn b/d in October, according to recent data from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).
In its latest monthly Drilling Productivity Report, the EIA noted that output in the Permian has been more resilient than in other regions during the downturn in commodity prices because of lower extraction costs.
And stable oil prices so far this year of just under $50/bl have prompted producers such as Continental Resources, Pioneer Natural Resources and Occidental to revive drilling activity in the US.
But oilfield services giant Schlumberger warned today that the US onshore unconventional industry could run the risk of depleting low-cost "sweet spots" if it continues some kinds of aggressive development.
US domestic oil production in the week ended 15 September increased by 157,000 b/d to about 9.5mn b/d, EIA data showed.
The total North American rig count rose by seven to 1155, with the count in Canada increasing by eight to 220. The number of US rigs drilling horizontally fell by five to 790, while the tally of those drilling vertically rose by one to 68. The offshore count rose by two, to 19.