Must-know: US land-based rig count returns to normal

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Land-based rig counts are up from from previous week

During the week ended October 10, the U.S. onshore, or land-based, rig count increased by 11 to 1,872 compared to the previous week. This marked the tenth such increase in the past 12 weeks. Land-based rigs include 13 inland water rigs. The inland water rig count increased by two last week.

Last week’s increase marks a return to the normal upward trend that has characterized land-based rig counts since the beginning of 2014. The trend was upset by a surprise shift the previous week, when the land-based rig count decreased. Before that, the land-based rig count was at its highest since August 2012.Onshore and Offshore Rig

In the year to date, the land-based U.S. rig count is up 182, or ~11%. Offshore rigs have decreased by three since the beginning of 2014. This year, land-based rig counts increased mostly in Texas, at +64, and Oklahoma, at +42.

Texas also has the highest number of land-based rigs in the U.S.— 894—or 48% of the total U.S. land-based rigs. Texas is followed by Oklahoma with 211 land-based rigs and North Dakota with 182 land-based rigs.

3Q14 rig counts

In 3Q14, U.S. land-based rig counts increased 3% to 1,842, compared to 1,796 rigs in 2Q14. They were up 8% from the 1,709 rigs recorded in 3Q13. In 2Q14, well counts increased the most in the Cana Woodford at ~28%, the Arkoma Woodford at ~16%, and the DJ-Niobrara at 10%, compared to 2Q14.

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Land-based rig counts can gauge land-based upstream energy companies’ activity levels. These companies include Occidental Petroleum Corporation (OXY), Southwestern Energy Company (SWN), Comstock Resources Inc (CRK), and Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD). Some of these companies are components of the S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP).

To learn about what’s happening in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico rig count, read the next part of the series.

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