West Texas’ Permian Basin led another increase in the number of rigs actively drilling in the U.S.
The Permian tacked on four new active rigs this week, although the nationwide total only grew by two rigs, according to weekly data collected by Houston energy services firm Baker Hughes, a GE company. A net of three oil rigs were added while one drilling for natural gas came offline.
There are now 861 rigs drilling for oil with well more than half of them – 480 – situated in the booming Permian in Texas and New Mexico. There are 186 gas-seeking rigs and just one miscellaneous rig, creating a total rig count of 1,048.
The total count is up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May 2016.
Texas only added one rig overall because some of the Permian growth occurred in New Mexico and one rig came off from South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale.
The next most active area after the Permian is the Eagle Ford shale with 80 rigs and then Oklahoma’s Cana-Woodford shale with 71 rigs. Texas is home to 524 rigs overall – exactly half of the nation’s total – while Oklahoma is second with 137 rigs. New Mexico is next with 104 rigs.
With this week’s dip, the oil rig count is down 46 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.