In its monthly release, oilfield services provider, Baker Hughes Inc.'s (BHI - Analyst Report) worldwide Rotary Rig Count for Sep 2013 was 3,431, up 15 from 3,416 in Aug 2013.
The Baker Hughes Rotary Rig Counts give the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the U.S., Canada and international markets. The Baker Hughes’ rotary rig counts, issued since 1944, acts as an important yardstick for drilling contractors like Tesco Corp. (TESO - Snapshot Report), Patterson-UTI Energy Inc. (PTEN - Analyst Report) and Pioneer Energy Services Corp. (PES) in gauging the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry. Baker Hughes initiated the monthly international rig count in 1975.
Analysis of Monthly Data
International: Internationally, rigs engaged in exploration and production totaled 1,284 in Sep 2013. This was up 17 from 1,267 counted in Aug 2013, and up 30 from 1,254 counted in Sep 2012. The international offshore rig count for Sept 2013 was 313, up 4 from the 309 counted in Aug 2013, and up 20 from the 293 counted in Sept 2012.
North America: North American rigs engaged in exploration and production totaled 2,147 in Sep 2013. This was down 2 from 2,149 counted in Aug 2013, and down 67 from 2,214 counted in Sep 2012. Rigs engaged in land operations fell by 7 to 2,077 from 2,084 in Aug 2013 and decreased by 85 from 2,162 in Sep 2012. The North American offshore rig count for Sep 2013 was 70, up by 5 from 65 counted in Aug 2013 and up 18 from 52 counted in Sep 2012.
The average U.S. rig count for Sept 2013 was 1,760, down 21 from 1,781 counted in Aug 2013, and down 99 from 1,859 counted in Sep 2012. The average Canadian rig count for Sep 2013 was 387, up 19 from 368 counted in Aug 2013, and up 32 from 355 counted in Sep 2012.
As of now, Pioneer Energy Services and Tesco hold Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and Zacks Rank #2 (Buy), respectively, implying that these are expected to perform above the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months. On the other hand, both Baker Hughes and Patterson-UTI Energy currently hold a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stocks, implying that these are expected to perform in line with the broader U.S. equity market over the same time frame.