Baker Hughes March Rig Counts: Rocket Ride Continues, U.S. Up 45

The Baker Hughes rig count in the U.S. continued to rocket skyward in March. In January the average number of U.S. rigs was 683. In February, the count zoomed to 744, up 61 rigs in just a month. And in March, the U.S. rig count zoomed to 789, up another 45 rigs in a month. Each active rig translates into hundreds of jobs, both directly working at the rig and indirectly in services delivered to the rig and its workers. It also means more landowners will soon have royalty payments heading in their direction. When rigs are active, life is good. What about rig counts in the Marcellus/Utica? Disappointingly our region’s rig count lost a rig in March. PA lost two rigs, OH gained a rig, and WV stayed even. What does it all mean? It means that this zooming up in rig counts is happening in other locations–primarily in the Permian Basin in Texas. That is, oil rigs rushing to take advantage of an increase crude prices to a sustained $50+/barrel. While we’re happy the rig count is up, we’re not happy more it is not happening in the northeast. But honestly, without pipelines to take away an increase in production, can you blame our drillers? Once there is more takeaway capacity, you’ll see rig counts begin to climb again in our neck of the woods…

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