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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Halliburton, Schlumberger, Transocean, Devon and Diamondback

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For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – September 1, 2020 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include Halliburton Company (HAL - Free Report) , Schlumberger Ltd. (SLB - Free Report) , Transocean Ltd. (RIG - Free Report) , Devon Energy Corp. (DVN - Free Report) and Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG - Free Report) .

Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

U.S. Oil & Gas Rig Tally Flat Despite Hurricane Laura Damage

In its weekly release, Baker Hughes reported that the U.S. rig count was in line with the prior-week count despite some producers shutting rigs due to Hurricane Laura, which made landfall on Aug 27.

More on the Rig Count

Baker Hughes' data, issued at the end of every week since 1944, helps energy service providers gauge the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry.

A change in the Houston-based oilfield service player's rotary rig count affects demand for energy services like drilling, completion and production, provided by the likes of Halliburton Company, Schlumberger Ltd. and Transocean Ltd.

Details

Total US Rig Count Flat: Rigs engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States was 254 in the week through Aug 28, in line with the prior-week count. The current national rig count is, however, below the prior year’s 904.

The number of onshore rigs in the week ending Aug 28 totaled 240, in line with the prior-week count. Moreover, the counts of rigs operating in the offshore resources and inland waters were 13 and one, respectively, flat with the counts for the week ended Aug 21.

US Removes 3 Oil Rigs: Oil rig count was 180 in the week through Aug 28, compared with 183 in the week ended Aug 21. Investors should also note that the current tally of oil rigs, far from the peak of 1,609 attained in October 2014, is also below the year-ago 742.

Natural Gas Rig Count Increases in US: The natural gas rig count of 72 was higher than the prior-week count of 69. However, the count of rigs exploring the commodity is lower than the prior-year week’s 162. Importantly, per the latest report, the number of natural gas-directed rigs is 95.5% below the all-time high of 1,606 recorded in 2008.

Rig Count by Type: The number of vertical drilling rigs totaled 13 units, in line with the prior-week count. Moreover, the horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology with the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) of 241 was flat with the prior-week level.

Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Rig Count Flat: The GoM rig count is 13 units, of which all were oil-directed. The count was in line with the prior-week count.

Rig Count in Prolific Basins

Permian — the most prolific basin in the United States — saw a decline in oil rig tally by two in the week ended Aug 28. Notably, the Haynesville basin saw the addition of three gas rigs in the week through Aug 28.

Outlook

With oil prices recovering rapidly – the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude has improved more than 275% since late April – as economies are reopening, most analysts opine that the weekly rig count will again start to increase. Meanwhile, investors may keep an eye on two energy stocks which are expected to benefit if the oil price rally sustains – Devon Energy Corp. and Diamondback Energy Inc. Both the stocks carry a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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