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US Natural Gas Rig Count Could Hit a 2-Month Low


Oct. 20 2017, Published 9:13 a.m. ET

US natural gas rig count  

Baker Hughes will publish its weekly US oil and gas rig count report on October 19, 2017. In last week’s report, Baker Hughes reported that the US natural gas rig count fell by two to 185 on October 6–13, 2017. It was the lowest level since September 1, 2017. The rigs fell due to stalling crude oil (DBO) (SCO) and natural gas (DGAZ) (UGAZ) prices in the last few months. If the weakness continues, US natural gas rigs could test two-month lows.

Volatility in natural gas (GASL) (BOIL) prices impacts drillers and producers’ (XLE) (XOP) earnings like Rex Energy (REXX), Exco Resources (XCO), Diamond Offshore (DO), and Schlumberger (SLB).

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Monthly drilling report  

The U.S. Energy Information Administration published its monthly drilling report on October 16, 2017. It estimates that US gas production could rise in the significant shale regions by 827 MMcf/d (million cubic feet per day) to 60,937 MMcf/d in November 2017—compared to October 2017. Production is expected to rise in the Appalachia, Permian, and Haynesville shale regions during this period.

Natural gas international rig counts  

International natural gas rigs fell 2.5% to 195 in September—compared to August. However, rigs were at 194 in September 2016. Natural gas–directed international rigs are at the lowest level since March 2017.


US natural gas rigs are near a seven-week low. It indicates that natural gas rigs could remain range-bound unless oil (USO) (UCO) and gas (UNG) prices rise.

In the next part, we’ll analyze US natural gas production.


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