All rig count data is provided by Baker Hughes. All monthly charts are oil rigs only. Gas rigs are not included in the count. The last data point for all monthly charts is April 2015.
When I talk about “peaks” in this post I am only speaking of the peak since 2011 and am not suggesting that there were not higher peaks in previous years.
(Click all charts for larger version)
The International Rig Count has fallen by 150 rigs, from 1,080 in July 2014 to 930 in April 2015. This count does not include the USA, Canada or any of the FSU countries.
The European Oil Rig Count dropped from 96 in October and November to 65 in April.
The African Rig count peaked at 123 in February and dropped to 88 in April.
The Asia Pacific rig count stood at 211 in January 2011 and now stood at 164 in March and April.
The Latin America oil rig count stood at 396 in May of 2012 and has since dropped 100 rigs to 296 in April. Related: Did Low Oil Prices Actually Hurt U.S. Economy?
The Middle East oil rig count rose from 179 in January 2011 to 349 in July of 2014 and stood at 317 in April.
The Saudi Arabia oil rig count has been bucking the trend. They have been increasing rigs while most everyone else has been cutting rigs. Saudi oil rigs have increased from 23 in January 2011 to 81 in April 2015. Saudi is doing everything it can to ramp up production.
Kuwait has also been trying to increase production lately and have increased their rig count, though it fell by 3 from March to April.
The UAE, like Saudi And Kuwait, have been increasing their rig count as of late. Related: How Much Longer Can The Oil Age Last?
Iraqi oil rig count has fallen from 96 in June to 53 in April. That’s quite a drop. I don’t understand that zero rig count until June of 2012 but that’s just what Baker Hughes is Reporting.
Mexico’s oil rig count began to erode long before the price collapse. The recent peak was 104 in March of 2013 but stood at 60 in April.
India has a strange profile. Hitting 114 last April but dropping to 86 in April.
Brazil’s oil rig count has dropped considerably, from 90 in June of 202 to 41 in April.
There were far too many graphs of rig counts to post, but I wanted to post the most interesting to give you some idea of what is happening. One question bound to be asked is why does it take so many more rigs in North America than it does in the rest of the world. That would be a good question to discuss in the comments. I won’t attempt to answer it right now. Related: Oil Price Recovery May Be Too Much Too Soon
This is the USA weekly oil rig chart. The peak was 1609 the week of October 10, but we were still at 1575 the week of December 5th then dropped to 1546 the week of December 12th. The last data point is the week ending May 8th.
But I would like to post the weekly rig count from Canada. The weekly count gives us one detail that the monthly count did not show, the spike downward at the very end of every year. I hope some Canadian can give us the reason for this phenomenon.
The above is the Canada’s total rig count, which differs from the oil only rig counts above.
Canada exhibits a strange annual rig pattern. The rig count normally bottoms out the first or second week of May at around 120 rigs, though it was 145 in 2014. Then it heads up and reaches a plateau around August. It remains on this plateau until near the end of December. Then it spikes down at the end of the year. Then it heads back up and peaks in February. Then it goes back down and bottoms out again in May. Except this year, when it started up at the first of the year and got only about half way up before the oil price collapse knocked it back down again. This year that huge first quarter hump is completely missing and now sits at 75, or 70 rigs lower than it was at this point last year.
This is the combined total of all rigs, gas and oil, from the US and Canada since February 2011 to the present. The high for this period was 2707 in February of 2012 and now stands at 989, a drop 63% since that point.
By Ron Patterson
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