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Permian Basin Rig Count Increases Last Week: Is It a Turnaround?

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Jun. 8 2015, Updated 2:36 p.m. ET

Permian Basin’s rig count

Currently, there are 642 working oil rigs in the United States. The Permian Basin has 232 of these rigs, more than any other region. The Eagle Ford shale has 86 active oil rigs, the Williston Basin has 76, and the Mississippian Lime has 23.

The Permian Basin’s oil rig count increased by one last week. It marks the first increase after three consecutive drops. This also marks the second increase in the past 26 weeks.

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What this means

Over the past six months, the steep fall in the Permian Basin’s rig count suggests that producers operating in this region have reduced their drilling activity. This will likely slow production growth or even reduce production. RSP Permian (RSPP), Laredo Petroleum (LPI), Concho Resources (CXO), Matador Resources (MTDR), and Whiting Petroleum (WLL) are upstream producers operating in the Permian Basin.

Laredo Petroleum forms 1.69% of the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). Concho Resources accounts for 0.85% of the iShares U.S. Energy ETF (IYE).

One-year comparison

In the 12 months ending June 5, 2015, the number of active oil rigs in the Permian Basin declined by 310. The Permian Basin rig count is at its lowest level since May 2010.

The Williston Basin lost 102 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 119 oil rigs. But the Cana-Woodford shale in Oklahoma’s Anadarko Basin added ten oil rigs during this period.

About 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 EIA (U.S. Energy Information Administration), the Permian Basin produces the most crude oil in the United States.

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