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Anemic Oil and Gas Rig Count Grows Weaker

With oil prices hovering around the $33 a barrel mark late in the week, the nation’s oil and gas producers are quickly backing off drilling efforts as the nation lost another 18 rigs in the past week, tumbling to a total of 619 still in the fields. Oklahoma added one rig over the past week to reach 88. A year ago, the state had 183 active oil and gas rigs. Of course, it would be easy to simply report the story in terms of ‘rigs’ but in reality, it’s a loss of people drawing paychecks. It’s a decline of those same people spending their money and keeping economies flowing in Oklahoma and other states.

Nationally, the count included a loss of 12 oil rigs, reaching a national count of 498 while the gas count slipped by 6 to reach 121. It means that in the past year, the nation’s oil and gas rig count has fallen by 924 from the 1,543 rigs a year ago at this time. That loss includes 725 oil rigs and 198 gas rigs.

Canada dropped by 19 rigs in the past week to reach 231. Its loss in the past year totaled 163 from the 394 active rigs last year at this time.

Oklahoma and Colorado were the only states in the region to see an increase in their rig counts. Colorado added two to reach 22 compared to the 63 a year ago. The biggest loss was suffered by Texas where the count dropped 13 to reach 281. One year ago, Texas had 695 working rigs. Kansas fell by one to reach 9. Louisiana’s count slipped by three to reach 51. In New Mexico, the count fell by four to hit 26. North Dakota’s count dropped one to reach 44. The drop in North Dakota’s Bakken shale field is so bad that a year ago, the state had 143 active rigs.

Of the different oil and gas plays, the biggest rig loss was in the Permian Basin in west Texas and southeast New Mexico. It dropped 17 rigs in the past week, reaching 182 for the total, a far crry from the 454 rigs there a year ago.

Oklahoma’s Granite Wash is down one rig to reach 13, compared to the 40 last year. The Woodfords, the ardmore and Arkoma have a total of 10 rigs compared to the 13 a year ago. The Mississippian in northerrn Oklahoma and southern Kansas added a rig, reaching eleven. That’s only about 20 percent of the 54 rigs there last year. The Eagle Ford in south Texas remained steady at 64.