Canadian rigs drag North American count lower
The North American rig count declined by five from last week, upstream services company Baker Hughes reported March 26 in its weekly rig activity report, led by a drop in Canada, where field activity has slowed due to spring breakup.
Baker Hughes reported a net 498 rigs in service in North America, with the bulk of those deployed in the United States. The US rig count of 417 for the week ending March 26 marked an increase of six from the previous week, while the Canadian rig count of 81 was 11 less than during the week ending March 19.
There were 12 rigs working in the US waters of the Gulf of Mexico, one less than during the week ending March 19. All of them were working in oil plays. There were no rigs working offshore Canada.
Most of the rig activity in Canada, 50, was in natural gas plays. By province, oil-rich Alberta had 60 rigs in service for the week ending March 26, eight less than during the previous reporting period. The 18 rigs in British Columbia marked an increase of two from the previous week, while the three rigs reported in Saskatchewan was five less than the week ending March 19.
About three quarters of US rigs were deployed for oil. By state, Texas had the most rig activity with 205, with most of that focused in the Permian shale. New Mexico was second, with 67 rigs in service, unchanged from the week ending March 19.
Exploration and production activity in North America is still recovering from the demand destruction brought on by the pandemic. The total North American rig count at this point last year was 782.