Permian Basin again surges in rig count

The Permian Basin almost single-handedly led another big jump this week in the amount of rigs actively drilling for oil and gas.

West Texas’ Permian saw 12 drilling rigs added to the oil patch this past week. That compares to the nation’s overall addition of 15 rigs, including 10 seeking oil and another five primarily drilling for natural gas, according to weekly data from the Baker Hughes services firm.

Despite the Permian’s big gain, Texas only saw a net gain of seven rigs. That’s because the Panhandle’s Granite Wash basin lost four rigs and South Texas’ Eagle Ford shale lost a single rig. The only other state with a notable gain was Oklahoma, which added four rigs.

The total U.S. rig count is now at 839 rigs, up from an all-time low of 404 rigs in May, according to Baker Hughes. Of the total tally, 672 of them are primarily drilling for oil.

The Permian now accounts for 331 rigs, which is nearly 50 percent of all the nation’s oil rigs. The next most active area is Texas’ Eagle Ford shale with 72 rigs. Texas is home to 418 rigs overall, while Oklahoma is second with 122 rigs. Louisiana is next with 60 rigs.

Despite this week’s jump, the oil rig count is down 58 percent from its peak of 1,609 in October 2014, before oil prices began plummeting.