The nation’s tally of rigs drilling for oil and gas dipped by four from last week with rigs being removed from Oklahoma and the Gulf of Mexico.
The onshore and offshore rig counts declined by two apiece, partially offsetting increases in the Gulf of Mexico just one week prior, according to weekly figures compiled by the services firm Baker Hughes, a GE company.
The overall rig count is up to 1,047 active rigs, including 853 rigs primarily drilling for crude oil.
Texas is home to 508 active rigs, nearly half of the nation’s total. West Texas’ booming Permian Basin, which extends into New Mexico, accounts for 473 rigs all by itself. The Permian makes up 55 percent of all the oil-drilling rigs in the country.
Because of pipeline shortages in West Texas, many companies are continuing to drill Permian wells while leaving more of them uncompleted until new pipelines come online.
The total count is up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May 2016.
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 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.