Natural gas and oil drilling totals rise in the United States

The number of natural gas rigs in the United States jumped by one to 144 in the week ended Friday (April 22), matching an increase of one rig in the oilfield, according to updated figures from Baker Hughes Co. (BKR).

Two rigs were added onshore, as well as one offshore (not in the Gulf of Mexico), while one rig came out of inland waters for the period, according to BKR figures, which are in partly based on Enverus data.

Total domestic horizontal rig count was up three for the week, partially offset by a drop in one directional rig. The total number of active U.S. rigs climbed two units to 695 on Friday, from 438 running rigs in the year-ago period.

The number of Canadian rigs fell two units to 101 on Friday, from 55 a year earlier. Changes included the decline of an oil rig and a natural gas unit.

Broken down by major drilling region, the Williston Basin leads with an increase of two rigs week/week, bringing its count to 36, from 15 a year ago. The Ardmore Woodford, Cana Woodford and Eagle Ford Shale added one rig each, according to BKR data.

Counting by state, North Dakota added two rigs per week, mirroring the change in Williston, while Alaska added one rig in total. Wyoming saw a one-platform decline for the period, according to BKR.

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Upstream oil and gas employment in Texas gained 4,300 jobs in March, bringing the workforce to 184,700, according to a recent report from the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners (TIPRO).

The trade group noted the sharp increase in Permian Basin drilling permits issued in February. Exploration and production (E&P) companies have also begun to react to “rising commodity prices and calls to increase domestic production to address global supply shortages.”

TIPRO, which uses data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Current Employment Statistics Report, added that the state’s upline workforce has grown by 21,700 jobs annually. The annual increase included 18,100 additional oilfield services and 3,600 additional E&P-related jobs, the organization said.

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