Rig count holds on to recent gains in Eagle Ford

Despite a recent drop in oil prices, the Eagle Ford Shale is holding on to gains that the region has made in the rig count.

West Texas Intermediate crude oil prices started the year strong but have fluctuated between $46 and $54 per barrel over the past three months. The price drop slowed down new drilling activity, but June 2 figures from the Baker Hughes Rig Count show that the Eagle Ford and other shale basins have been able to keep their recent gains.

Just south of San Antonio, the Eagle Ford was steady at 86 drilling rigs in operation compared to the low of 29 rigs one year ago.

Over the past week, the San Antonio office of Houston-based Marathon Oil Corp. (NYSE: MRO) and Austin-based Terlingua Operating LLC led the 12 companies that filed drilling permits for oil and gas projects in South Texas.

The Barnett Shale of North Texas is at seven rigs compared to two during the same time period last year. But the biggest winner has been the Permian Basin of West Texas where Baker Hughes reported that there are now 364 drilling rigs deployed compared to 142 rigs one year ago.

Across the Lone Star State, there are now reported to be 463 drilling rigs deployed in the oil patch compared to 176 last year.

Baker Hughes put the number of active drilling rigs in the United States at 916 compared to 984 reported by Austin-based oil field data firm Drillinginfo and the 1,038 rigs reported by Platts RigData.

Regardless of their differing numbers, all three indexes agree that the rig count continues to climb in both Texas and the United States.

Houston-based Baker Hughes Inc. (NYSE: BHI) releases rig count data weekly. The report is considered an important barometer of drilling activity worldwide.

New oil rig activity provides business for many subcontractors in the field. Each drilling rig represents 224 jobs on and off the drilling pad, according to a July 2014 study from Rice University.


Baker Hughes Rig Count (Friday, June 2nd, 2017)

Location Last Week This Week Change
Barnett Shale 7 7 0
Eagle Ford 86 86 0
Permian Basin 362 364 2
Texas 458 463 5
United States 908 916 8

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