More Than Half of US Oil Rigs Are in the Permian

Fri, March 16, 2018

All 434 rigs in the Permian were searching for oil, according to Baker Hughes. The nation’s most active basin lost one rig this week. Reeves County in the Delaware Basin fell by one rig to 66. Midland County in the Midland Basin also shed a rig, falling to 48.

The following counties also had double-digit rig counts: Lea, New Mexico (48); Eddy, New Mexico (37); Loving (30); Howard (27); Martin (26); Glasscock (22); Culberson (19); Reagan (16); Ward (16); Pecos (15); Winkler (14); Andrews (12); and Upton (11).

Railroad Commission District 8 moved back in to the 300-rig range after an additional pair of rigs put its count at 301. For other areas with activity in the Permian, District 7B was unchanged at one, District 7C fell by two rigs to 30, District 8A dropped by one to 16 and New Mexico held at 86.

The Permian had 308 rigs a year ago.


Texas & New Mexico

The Permian rig count might have been down, but Texas as a whole was up. The Lone Star State recorded one more rig this week for a total of 483. Seventy-two percent of Texas’ rigs were in the Permian.

Counts in the Eagle Ford and Barnett were unchanged at 70 and two, respectively. Eighteen of the Haynesville’s 51 rigs were in East Texas. Seven of the Granite Wash’s 12 rigs were in the Panhandle.

Texas recorded one offshore rig.

New Mexico’s rig tally inched higher by one, putting the Land of Enchantment’s count at 88. Its pair of non-Permian rigs were in San Juan County in the northwestern part of the state.

At this time last year, Texas had 392 rigs and New Mexico had 47.


United States

Baker Hughes reported the U.S. had 981 rigs this week, 181 of which were searching for natural gas. Oil rigs rose by one, while natural gas rigs were up by two. Fourteen of the nation’s rigs were offshore in the Gulf of Mexico, down by three. Inland waters rigs rose by two to four.

By drilling trajectory, there were 847 horizontal rigs, up five; 59 vertical rigs, down eight; and 75 directional rigs, up six.

The U.S. had 756 rigs a year ago.


Most Active

Basins with the most rigs were the Permian, the Eagle Ford, the Cana Woodford (68), the Marcellus (56) and the Haynesville.

States with the most activity were Texas, Oklahoma (124), New Mexico, Louisiana (59), and North Dakota (47).


Canada & North America

Canada’s rig count fell by four to 302, Oil rigs grew by two to 211; natural gas rigs fell by six to 91. Canada had 335 rigs a year ago.

The total number of rigs operating in the North America region this week was 1,283, up by one on the week and up by 192 since this time last year.


The following are county-by-county Permian Basin rig counts, with changes in parentheses, for the week ending March 2.


Fisher                                    1

Total                                      1


Crockett                                1

Irion                                      2

Regan                                 16

Upton                           11 (-3)


Andrews                      12 (+1)

Crane                             2 (-1)

Culberson                   19 (+2)

Ector                                     3

Glasscock                           22

Howard                       27 (+1)

Jeff Davis                              1

Loving                         30 (-2)

Martin                        26 (+3)

Midland                      48 (-1)

Pecos                            15 (-1)

Reeves                        66 (-1)

Ward                                   16

Winkler                       14 (+1)


Borden                                  1

Cochran                                1

Gaines                                   1

Kent                                       1

Lynn                                      1

Scurry                                   7

Yoakum                         4 (-1)

Total                             16 (-1)


Chaves                                  1

Eddy                           37 (+2)

Lea                              48 (-2)

Total                                   86