The number of rigs drilling for oil and gas in the U.S. dipped by five this week, continuing a slow decline for most of June.
Rigs actively drilling for oil fell by four, while the amount of rigs seeking natural gas slipped by just one. Texas saw a decline of three rigs, while North Dakota and Louisiana also had small dips. New Mexico and Oklahoma each gained two rigs, according to weekly data collected by Houston energy services firm Baker Hughes, a GE company.
Oil prices were sluggish for most of June, although they saw an upswing starting Friday as OPEC reached a deal for only modest oil production hikes.
There are now 858 rigs drilling for oil with more than half of them – 474 – situated in the Permian. There are exactly 187 gas-seeking rigs and two miscellaneous rigs, creating a total rig count of 1,047.
The total count is up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May 2016.
The next most active area after the Permian is South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale with 80 rigs and then Oklahoma’s Cana-Woodford shale with 74 rigs. Texas is home to 530 rigs overall – just more than half of the nation’s total – while Oklahoma is second with 140 rigs. New Mexico is next with 95 rigs.
With this week’s dip, the oil rig count is down 47 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting. However, rigs today are able to drill more wells than before and to deeper depths to produce more oil and gas. That’s largely why the U.S. is producing record volumes of both crude oil and natural gas.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.