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Permian Basin Rig Count Registers 19th Straight Fall

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Apr. 22 2015, Published 11:48 a.m. ET

Comparing Permian rig counts with others

Currently, there are 734 working oil rigs in the United States. The Permian Basin has 255 of these rigs, more than any other region. The Eagle Ford Shale has 107 active oil rigs, the Williston Basin has 84, and the Mississippian Lime has 31.

Last week, the Permian Basin’s oil rig count fell by five over the previous week’s count. This was the 19th consecutive weekly decline in the Permian rig count and a ~2% decline from the previous week. Overall, the weekly US crude oil rig count was also down ~3%.

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The steep fall in the Permian Basin rig count suggests producers operating in this region are slowing drilling activity. This should decrease production growth and possibly even decrease production. These companies include Chevron Corporation (CVX), Laredo Petroleum (LPI), and Concho Resources (CXO). Chevron forms 1.1% of the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY). Concho Resources makes up 0.9% of the iShares U.S. Energy ETF (IYE).

One-year rig count comparison

In the past year, Permian Basin oil rig activity declined with a loss of 280. The Permian Basin rig count is now at its lowest level since August 2010.

The Williston Basin lost 101 oil rigs in the past year. The Williston Basin includes the Bakken Shale, one of the most prolific crude oil shale plays in the United States. The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas lost 100 oil rigs, while the Cana-Woodford Shale in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin added 23 oil rigs.

The Permian Basin

The Permian Basin is a combination of the Midland Basin and the Delaware Basin in western Texas and southern New Mexico. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the Permian Basin produces the most crude oil in the United States.

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