In its weekly release,
Baker Hughes Company ( BKR Quick Quote BKR - Free Report) reported an increase in the U.S. rig count. 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 (
HAL Quick Quote HAL - Free Report) , Schlumberger Limited ( SLB Quick Quote SLB - Free Report) and Transocean Ltd. ( RIG Quick Quote RIG - Free Report) . Details The count of rigs engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States was 255 in the week through Sep 18 versus the prior-week count of 254. Thus, in the past five weeks, the tally has increased three times. The current national rig count is, however, below the year-ago level’s868. Total US Rig Count Increases:
The number of onshore rigs in the week ending Sep 18 totaled 240, higher than the prior-week count of 238. Notably, the count of rigs operating in the inland waters was one, same as the prior-week tally. However, in the offshore resources, 14 rigs were operating, lower than the prior-week count of 15.
Oil rig count was 179 in the week through Sep 18, compared with 180 in the week ended Sep 11. Since mid-August, the tally has been the lowest. 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 719. US Removes 1 Oil Rig: The natural gas rig count of 73 was higher than the prior-week count of 71. However, the count of rigs exploring the commodity is lower than the prior-year week’s 148. 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. Natural Gas Rig Count Rises in US: The number of vertical drilling rigs totaled 17 units, lower than the prior-week count of 19. However, 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 238 was higher than the prior-week level of 235. Rig Count by Type: The GoM rig count is 14 units, of which all were oil-directed. The count was lower than the prior-week count of 15. Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Rig Count Declines: Rig Count in Prolific Basins
Permian — the most prolific basin in the United States — saw its weekly oil rig tally of 121, lower than the prior-week count of 122. However, the Marcellus basin saw the addition of one gas rig in the week through Sep 18.
With oil prices recovering rapidly – the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude has improved more than 214% since late April – with reopening economies, most analysts opine that drillers will continue to add rigs. Meanwhile, investors may keep an eye on two energy stocks which are expected to benefit if the oil price rally sustains – Devon Energy Corporation (
DVN Quick Quote DVN - Free Report) and Diamondback Energy Inc. ( FANG Quick Quote FANG - Free Report) . 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 . Zacks’ Single Best Pick to Double
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