Permian Basin’s Rig Count Drop Slows: Is a Turn Coming?



Permian Basin’s rig count

Currently, there are 646 working oil rigs in the US. The Permian Basin has 231 of these rigs—more than any other region. The Eagle Ford Shale has 90 active oil rigs, the Williston Basin has 77, and the Mississippian Lime has 22.

Compared to the 13 oil rigs idled last week, the Permian Basin’s oil rig count decreased by one. It marks the third consecutive drop. For the week ending May 8, the Permian Basin’s oil rig count increased after decreasing for 21 weeks.

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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.

RSP Permian forms 1.32% of the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). Concho Resources accounts for 0.84% of the iShares US Energy ETF (IYE).

One-year rig count comparison

In the 12 months ending May 29, 2015, the number of active oil rigs in the Permian Basin declined by 313. Now, the Permian Basin’s rig count is at its lowest level since May 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 US. The Eagle Ford Shale in South Texas lost 117 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 US.


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