The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 9 rigs in the August 18 week to 1,160, the third consecutive weekly drop in a decline that halts a long string of weekly increases in previous months. The U.S. rig count is down 3 rigs to 946 but is up 455 rigs from last year. The Canadian count is down 6 rigs to 214 but is up 93 rigs from last year.
For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are down 5 rigs to 763 but gas rigs are up 1 rig to 182. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 6 rigs to 121 and gas rigs remain unchanged at 93.
The rig count decline of the last three weeks likely reflects the reaction of exploration and development companies to the fact that oil prices have not been able to stay above $50 per barrel, a level that would put most North American rigs comfortably above their break-even point.