Rig Counts Fall Nationally—Fewer Oil Hands Working in the Cold

The rig count in Oklahoma remained steady at 87 in the past week while the nation’s count fell by 13 to reach a U.S. total of 637, according to the latest rig count from Baker Hughes Company based in Houston, Texas. It’s another indication there are fewer and fewer oil hands working in the cold and blustery winter in Oklahoma and other oil-producing states. The drop in rig counts usually means more and more oilfield workers are being laid off by oil and gas companies as a result of the near-catastrophic slide in energy prices.

The Oklahoma count compares to 193 a year ago this week. Nationally, the count means a loss of 996 oil and gas rigs from the count of 1,633 last year at this time. The latest trend showed a loss of five more oil rigs to reach a level of 510 nationally and a drop of 8 more gas rigs to reach a level of 127. Over the past year, the losses have included 807 oil rigs and 189 gas rigs.

Meanwhile, Canada continues seeing a resurgence in the past few weeks. Its count increased by 23 in the past week to reach 250 nationally. However, Canada’s rig count is still 182 fewer from the 432 reported one year ago.

Of the oil plays popular in Oklahoma, the Mississippian saw a drop of two to hit 10 while a year ago, there were 63 rigs seeking new energy in the play. The two Woodford plays dropped one to reach a combined total of 10 rigs. The Granite Wash remained even at 14 rigs, still considerably lower than the 41 rigs one year ago.

The Permian Basin in west Texas and southeast New Mexico dorpped by 3 to hit 199. A year ago there were 481 rigs drilling in the Permian. The Eagle Ford in south Texas dropped by four to reach 64, only about a third of the 181 rigs last year at this time.

The biggest drop in some of the oil active states in the region was seen in Texas where the count is seven fewer than last week. Texas is down to 294 statewide compared to the 753 last year. Colorado remained at 20, a third of last year’s count. Kansas slipped by two to reach 10. New Mexico fell by two to reach 30. North Dakota’s count dropped by two to hit 45.


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