US weekly oil rig count higher as Texas, Permian Basin rebound

17 Sep 2022

Quantum Commodity Intelligence - North American drilling activity increased during the week to September 14 with Texas and the Permian Basin leading the rebound, oilfield services firm Baker Hughes reported.

The total weekly rig count was up by four to 763 and an increase of around 50% from the 512 at the same stage in 2021.

The number of rigs dedicated to crude showed a healthy rebound of eight units, having dropped by four units in the previous week, and now standing at 599. The number of rigs drilling for natural gas dropped by four to 162.

Texas added five rigs to take the total to 364, while the Permian Basin added three rigs to stand at 343.

US oil output in the Permian Basin will hit an all-time high of 5.413 million bpd in October as production in the shale region continues to grow amid elevated oil prices and increased interest in tight oil, the EIA (Energy Information Administration) said Monday.

Production for the month was forecast to rise another 66,000 bpd from September, which would take it to a record level, the EIA said.

As of 14 Sept., the most active operators in the US were ConocoPhillips (28 rigs), EOG Resources (26), Pioneer Natural Resources (21), Devon Energy (20), ExxonMobil (20) and Mewbourne Oil (20).

Morgan Stanley last week cut its outlook on US production, now expecting an increase of 650,000 bpd this year, compared to a previous forecast of 800,000 bpd, citing slower-than-expected growth in drilling rigs.

Benchmark NYMEX WTI closed the week ending 16 Sept. at $84.76/b, down just over 2% on the week. The US Department of Energy dismissed reports that it is poised to trigger a buying program to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve should benchmark WTI crude prices drop below $80/b.