Eagle Ford takes the lead in rig count spike

As West Texas’ Permian Basin becomes more saturated with drilling activity, more rigs are returning to the Eagle Ford shale in southern Texas.

The U.S. added 13 rigs actively drilling for oil and gas this week and almost all of them came in Texas. The Lone Star state added 11 rigs, including five in the Eagle Ford. The booming Permian added two rigs, while the Haynesville Shale in East Texas tacked on one more rig, according weekly data compiled by the Baker Hughes services firm.

The only other state to add multiple rigs was Oklahoma with three. New Mexico, which includes part of the Permian, actually lost three rigs, and another three came offline in the Gulf of Mexico.

The total U.S. rig count is now at 870 rigs, up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May, according to Baker Hughes. Of the total tally, 697 of them are primarily drilling for oil.

The Permian now accounts for 342 rigs, which is nearly 50 percent of all the nation’s oil rigs. The next most active area is Texas’ Eagle Ford shale with 83 rigs. Texas is home to 437 rigs overall, more than half of the nation’s total, while Oklahoma is second with 127 rigs. Louisiana is next with 58 rigs.

Despite this week’s jump, the oil rig count is down 57 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting.

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