Texas leads sixth straight jump in rig count

Eight active drilling rigs were added to Texas oil and gas fields this week, offsetting a small dip in the rig count outside of the Lone Star State.

The U.S. added five rigs actively drilling for oil, but the number of gas-seeking rigs dipped by two, leaving the net rig count up three for the week, according to data collected by Houston’s Baker Hughes oilfield services firm.

Texas saw three rigs added to the booming Permian Basin, as well as three in the slowly recovering Eagle Ford shale. Texas also tacked on a rig in the gassy western portion of the Haynesville shale. Elsewhere, Louisiana and Alaska each lost two rigs, and North Dakota saw its count fall by one.

The total rig count is now at 754 rigs, up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May, according to Baker Hughes. Of the total tally, 602 of them are primarily drilling for oil.

The Permian now accounts for 306 rigs, which equates to more than 50 percent of all the nation’s oil rigs. The next most active area is Texas’ Eagle Ford shale with just 64 rigs.

Despite this week’s jump, the oil rig count is down 63 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting.

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