(BHI) U.S. Natural Gas Drilling Rig Count Hits 900

In its weekly release, Houston-based oilfield services company Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI) reported a rise in the U.S. rig count (number of rigs searching for oil and gas in the country). This can be primarily attributed to an increase in the tally of land rigs.

The Baker Hughes rig count, issued since 1944, acts as an important yardstick for drilling contractors such as Transocean Inc. (RIG), Diamond Offshore (DO), Noble Corp. (NE), Nabors Industries (NBR), Patterson-UTI Energy (PTEN) and Helmerich & Payne (HP) in gauging the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry.

Weekly Summary

Rigs engaged in exploration and production in the U.S. totaled 1,974 for the week ended August 19, 2011. This is up by 15 from the previous week’s rig count and represents the highest level since November 7, 2008.

The current nationwide rig count is more than double that of the 6-year low of 876 (set in the week ended June 12, 2009) and significantly exceeds the prior-year level of 1,651. It rose to a 22-year high in 2008, peaking at 2,031 in the weeks ending August 29 and September 12.

Rigs engaged in land operations climbed by 16 to 1,921, offshore drilling decreased by 1 to 34, while inland waters activity remained steady at 19 rigs.

Natural Gas Rig Count

The natural gas rig count increased by 4 from the previous week to reach 900, the highest level since late February 2011. Despite the weekly improvement, the number of gas-directed rigs is down more than 9% from its 2010 peak of 992, reached during mid-August.

In fact, the current natural gas rig count remains 44% below its all-time high of 1,606 reached in late summer 2008, but has rebounded strongly after bottoming out to a 7-year low of 665 on July 17, 2009. In the year-ago period, there were 985 active natural gas rigs.

Oil Rig Count

The oil rig count was up by 11 to 1,066. The current tally – the highest in 23 years – is considerably more than the previous year’s rig count of 655. It has recovered strongly from a low of 179 in June 2009, rising almost 6 times.

Miscellaneous Rig Count

The miscellaneous rig count (primarily drilling for geothermal energy), at 8, remained steady compared to the previous week.

Rig Count by Type

The number of vertical drilling rigs rose by 13 to 609, while the horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology that has the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) was up by 2 at 1,365. In particular, horizontal rig units rose by 15 in the latest week to hit a new all-time high of 1,138.

BAKER-HUGHES (BHI): Free Stock Analysis Report

DIAMOND OFFSHOR (DO): Free Stock Analysis Report

HELMERICH&PAYNE (HP): Free Stock Analysis Report

NABORS IND (NBR): Free Stock Analysis Report

NOBLE CORP (NE): Free Stock Analysis Report

PATTERSON-UTI (PTEN): Free Stock Analysis Report

TRANSOCEAN LTD (RIG): Free Stock Analysis Report

Zacks Investment Research

About vitalstocks

This is a sample profile field. Vitalstocks is the operating company for Stockbloghub. This will place the picture of the author or company in the profile. Here is another extra line of information.


Powered by Facebook Comments

Similar Posts: | | | | | | | | | | | | | | Basic Materials | Oil and Gas Equipment and Services

RSS feeds: Baker Hughes Inc. | BHI | Diamond Offshore Drilling Inc | DO | Helmerich & Payne Inc | HP | Nabors Industries Limited | NBR | NE | Noble Corporation | Patterson-UTI Energy Inc | PTEN | RIG | Transocean Limited | Basic Materials | Oil and Gas Equipment and Services |

Other Posts by | RSS Feed for this author