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Oil and Gas Rig Counts Drop in Week Ended April 17

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Why were rig counts lower last week?

Last week’s lower rig count was due to 26 fewer active crude oil rigs and eight fewer natural gas rigs. In the next part of this series, we’ll see how the crude oil rig count declined.

In the last year, the total US crude oil and natural gas rig count has dropped by 877, or 48%. The number of active oil rigs decreased by 776, or 51%, and the number of natural gas rigs fell by 99, or ~31% over this period. The total rig count increased by 73 for the corresponding period ending April 18, 2014.

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Rig count trends and the will to drill

Rig counts tell us how many rigs are actively drilling for oil and gas. Analyzing the changes in the number of active rigs can help us understand how long-term supply could shift in response to demand trends. Oil and gas rig counts also signal how confident producers are about drilling for oil and gas.

Falling rig counts indicate a decline in upstream activity, which can result in falling production growth or even production for upstream operators. Hess Corporation (HES), Chesapeake Energy (CHK), Continental Resources (CLR), and Apache Corporation (APA) are upstream companies. Together, HES and CHK account for 2.1% of the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF’s (XLE) total market capitalization. Apache comprises 1% of the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC).

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