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Permian Oil Rig Count Increases in 9 of the Prior 10 Weeks

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·4 min read
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In its weekly release, Baker Hughes Company BKR reported that the U.S. rig count was higher than the prior-week tally. The rotary rig count, issued by Baker Hughes, usually gets published in major newspapers and trade publications.

Baker Hughes’ data, issued at the end of every week since 1944, helps energy service providers gauge the overall business environment of the oil and gas industry. The number of active rigs and its comparison with the prior-week figure indicates the demand trajectory for Baker Hughes’ oilfield services from exploration and production companies.

Details

Total US Rig Count Rises: The count of rigs engaged in the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in the United States was 673 for the week through Apr 1, higher thanthe prior-week count of 670. The current national rig count is higher than the year-ago level of 430.

The number of onshore rigs for the week ended Apr 1 totaled 657, higher than the prior-week count of 653. In offshore resources, 14 rigs were operating, in line with the prior-week count.

US Oil Rig Count Grows: Oil rig count was 533 for the week ended Apr 1, higher than the prior-week figure of 531. The current number of oil rigs — far from the peak of 1,609 attained in October 2014 — is up from the year-ago figure of 337.

Natural Gas Rig Count Rises in the US: Natural gas rig count of 138 was higher than the prior-week figure of 137. The count of rigs exploring the commodity is higher than the prior-year week’s tally of 91. Per the latest report, the number of natural gas-directed rigs is 91.4% lower than the all-time high of 1,606 recorded in 2008.

Rig Count by Type: The number of vertical drilling rigs totaled 25 units, in line with the prior-week count. Horizontal/directional rig count (encompassing new drilling technology with the ability to drill and extract gas from dense rock formations, also known as shale formations) of 648 compared favorably with the prior-week level of 645.

Gulf of Mexico (GoM) Rig Count Flat: GoM rig count was 14 units, all being oil-directed. The count was in line with the prior-week number.

Rig Count in the Most Prolific Basin

Permian — the most prolific basin in the United States — recorded a weekly oil rig tally of 322, higher than the prior-week count of 318. Thus, the basin's oil drilling rig count increased in nine of the prior 10 weeks.

Outlook

The West Texas Intermediate crude price is around $100 per barrel, marking a massive improvement from the past year. The commodity price shot up, primarily due to the escalation of Russian attacks on Ukraine. Higher oil prices will pave the way for rig additions despite a slowdown in drilling activities as upstream players mainly focus on stockholder returns rather than boosting output.

Meanwhile, investors may keep a close eye on energy stocks like Whiting Petroleum Corporation WLL and Continental Resources, Inc. CLR. The companies are expected to benefit from the current healthy oil price scenario.

Whiting Petroleum is a leading upstream energy company and the top producer of crude oil in North Dakota. With oil prices improving rapidly, Whiting Petroleum is expected to continue generating handsome cash flows while maintaining a healthy balance sheet.

Headquartered in Denver, CO, Whiting Petroleum has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 in the past 30 days. Looking at the price chart, WLL has gained 138.2% over the past year, outpacing the 83.6% improvement of the composite stocks belonging to the industry. WLL currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Continental Resources is also a leading upstream energy company with proven reserves in North Dakota and Oklahoma. The oil inventories of Continental Resources are among the best in the industry.

Headquartered in Oklahoma City, Continental Resources has witnessed upward earnings estimate revisions for 2022 in the past 30 days. Considering the price chart, Continental Resources — currently carrying a Zacks Rank #3 — has gained 144.5% over the past year, outpacing the 83.6% improvement of the composite stocks belonging to the industry.


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