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    North American rig count jumps by 20


Gains were posted across both the US and Canada.

by: Daniel Graeber

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North American rig count jumps by 20

The Baker Hughes rig count for September 17 showed net gains across US and Canada pushed drilling activity higher.

Using data from Enverus, Baker Hughes reported the North American rig count improved by 20 from the prior week to reach 666. An increase in upstream activity related to oil led the gains across North America, with a net increase of 18 from the previous week.

The US rig count improved by nine from the previous week, to 512, with oil rigs up by 10 to 411 and the natural gas rig count down by one to 100.

Most of the US increase came from southern US states, where the Permian basin posted five more rigs working in oil than the previous week. Eagle Ford saw an increase of three rigs in oil, but lost a rig in natural gas.

The Appalachia basin, which includes the Marcellus and Utica shales, posted small gains in work in natural gas, though that was offset by declines elsewhere in the primary shale basins in the Lower 48 US states.

Nearly 80% of the US upstream activity is focused on oil.

This is the second week in a row for gains in the US rig count, despite lingering pressure from storm activity in the Gulf of Mexico. The US Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement reported, as of September 16, nearly 40% of the natural gas production and 28% of total crude oil production remained offline nearly three weeks after Hurricane Ida made landfall as a category 4 storm.

The US offshore rig count was unchanged from last week.

Canada, for its part, saw gains across the board, with the oil rig count increasing by eight and the gas rig count improving by three.

The entire increase of 11 came from Alberta, and while Baker Hughes does not break down oil and gas data to the provincial level for Canada, it can be assumed from the data that oil and gas rig increases for Canada reflect activity in Alberta.

While the net gain of 20 is high, exploration and production activity in North America remains suppressed relative to pre-pandemic levels. For the similar week in 2019, the total North American rig count was 1,112.