The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 19 rigs in the June 23 week to 1,111, the eighth consecutive weekly increase though more modest than the outsized 44 and 33 rig gains seen in the prior two weeks. The U.S. rig count is up 8 to 941 and is up 520 rigs from last year in this period. The Canadian count is up 11 rigs from last week to 170 and is up 94 from last year.
For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 11 to 758 while gas rigs are down 3 to 183. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 7 to 98 and gas rigs are up 4 to 72.
The steadily growing Baker Hughes U.S. rig count this year and the return of Canadian drillers since the end of the Spring Breakup hiatus in late May have both contributed to downward pressure on oil prices, along with large U.S. inventories, depressed demand and increasing domestic production. But this week's slowdown of the acceleration of rig count gains could be signaling that plunging oil prices, down almost 20% in less than a month and trading below $43.00 per barrel, are too low to be profitable for some drillers.