The North American Rig Count cruised past one year above the 1,000 mark as crude oil prices continue to hover in the mid-$60 per barrel range.
Exploration and production companies are now using 1,022 drilling rigs in North America, according to figures released Friday in the Baker Hughes Rig Count.
Although the figures mark a decrease of three drilling rigs in operation compared to last week, they represent a year and a week above the 1,000 mark.
West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices suffered a dramatic drop during the fourth quarter of 2018 but have been trading above the $60 per barrel mark for the past three weeks, allowing the rig count to remain relatively steady.
Exploration and production companies removed nine rigs from operations in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, New Mexico and West Virginia over the pas week but put six of them into service in Texas, Ohio, Kansas and the Gulf of Mexico.
The Marcellus Shale of Pennsylvania and West Virginia lost six drilling rigs, which was partially offset by a gain of three rigs in the Utica Shale, which lies beneath a large area of the Marcellus.
Gains to the Texas rig count were made in areas outside of the state’s four shale basins. Although the Permian Basin gained two drilling rigs, the Haynesville Shale lost two and the Eagle Ford Shale lost another.
Compiled by Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes, the weekly rig count is considered to be a barometer of exploration and production activity.
This article first appeared on the Houston Chronicle – an Energy Voice content partner. For more from the Houston Chronicle click here.