The Baker Hughes North American rig count is down 1 rig in the December 8 week to 1,150, breaking a string of four consecutive increases in the prior weeks as exploration and development activity accelerated in response to climbing oil prices. The U.S. rig count is up 2 rigs at 931 and is up 307 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 3 rigs from last week to 219 and compared to last year is down 11 rigs.
For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 2 rigs to 751 while gas rigs remain unchanged at 180. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are up 1 at 112 but gas rigs are down 4 at 107.
The week's rig count drop mimics a similar minor retreat in oil prices this week, with WTI futures trading around $57.20 per barrel, down about $1 from the prior week. But with breakeven rates for many U.S. shale oil exploration and development companies below $45 per barrel, activity is likely to heat up further if current price levels are maintained.