The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 20 rigs in the November 10 week to 1,110. The U.S. rig count is up 9 rigs at 907 and is up 339 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is up 11 rigs from last week to 203 and compared to last year is up 27 rigs.
For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 9 rigs at 738 and gas rigs are unchanged at 169. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 8 rigs at 108, gas rigs are up 4 rigs at 95, and miscellaneous rigs are down 1 rig at 0.
The large increase follows 5 weeks of declines and indicates that North American exploration and development companies are finally responding to the month-long climb in oil prices that was spurred by a decline in inventories and more recently by political turmoil in Saudi Arabia, the largest oil exporter. With WTI crude oil prices at around $57 per barrel, the highest level in over two years, and breakeven rates for many producers below $45 per barrel, exploration and development activity is likely to heat up if current price levels can be maintained.