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Haynesville Witnesses Addition of 1 Natural Gas Drilling Rig

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In its weekly release, Baker Hughes Company (BKR - Free Report) reported an increase in the U.S. rig count.

More on the Rig Count

Baker Hughes’ data, which is 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 - Free Report) , Schlumberger Limited (SLB - Free Report) along with Transocean Ltd. (RIG - Free Report) .


Total US Rig Count Increases: The count of rigs engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States was 432 for the week through Apr 9,higher than the prior-week figure of 430. However, the current national rig count is below the year-ago level of 602.

The number of onshore rigs for the week ended Apr 9 totaled 421, higher than the prior-week count of 416. However, in offshore resources, 11 rigs were operating versus the prior-week count of 14.

Oil Rig Count Flat in US: Oil rig count was 337 for the week through Apr 9, in line with the prior-week count. Investors should also note that the current tally of oil rigs — far from the peak of 1,609 attained in October 2014 — is, however, below the year-ago figure of 504.

Natural Gas Rig Count Increases in US: Natural gas rig count of 93 increased from the prior-week count of 91. But, the count of rigs exploring the commodity was below the prior-year week’s 96. Per the latest report, the number of natural gas-directed rigs is almost 94.2% below the all-time high of 1,606 recorded in 2008.

Rig Count by Type: The number of vertical drilling rigs totaled 20 units, in line with the prior-week count. Also, 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 412, compared favorably with the prior-week level of 410.

Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Rig Count Drops: GoM rig count was 11 units, of which all were oil-directed. The count was lower than the prior-week tally of 14.

Rig Count in Prolific Basins

Permian — the most prolific basin in the United States — recorded a weekly oil rig tally of 223, in line with the prior-week count. Notably, the tally has increased in six of the past seven weeks. In the Haynesville shale play, the count of natural gas drilling rigs rose to 44 from the prior-week count of 43.


The price of West Texas Intermediate crude, trading close to the $60-per-barrel mark, has improved drastically from the pandemic low hit last April, when oil was in the negative territory. With coronavirus vaccines being rolled out at a massive scale, the demand for fuel will possibly rise further. This will likely pave the way for further crude price recovery, thereby encouraging oil and gas drillers to add rigs to shale plays.

Meanwhile, investors may keep an eye on two energy stocks that are expected to benefit if oil price continues to remain healthy — Devon Energy Corporation (DVN - Free Report) and Diamondback Energy Inc. (FANG - Free Report) . Both the stocks sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

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