A sudden 12-unit jump in oil-directed rigs during the abbreviated week ended July 2 represented their first rise since Dec. 5, 2014, and helped lift the overall US drilling rig count for a second consecutive week, according to data from Baker Hughes Inc.
The overall count, up 3 units during the week to 862, has now gained 5 units over the past 2 weeks following 28 consecutive weeks of losses (OGJ Online, June 26, 2015). The US is still down 1,012 units compared with this week a year ago.
Following a surge in well permits 2 weeks ago and last week’s first rig count rise of the year, permits last week fell to their lowest level since the Christmas-New Year’s holiday, Raymond James & Associates Inc. noted this week in an energy update.
Just 680 permits were issued, representing a 6-month low only a week after a multi-month high of 1,030 permits issued. Utilizing a 4-week average, weekly permits issued were up 40 compared with the prior week.
“While it is hard to come to much of a conclusion based on a single week of data, the 4-week average is still higher than it was 2 weeks ago, and roughly in line with the prior several weeks,” RJA explained. “Looking ahead to next week, we would expect to see another low data point given the holiday weekend. This will make it difficult to say much about what the past two weeks of permit data means until after the holiday.”