Permian tops 300 rigs for first time in 2 years

By Trevor Hawes

It took nearly two years, but the Permian Basin rig count broke into the 300 range this week after an additional six rigs pushed the tally to 301, according to Baker Hughes.

It’s the highest rig count in the nation’s most active basin since March 13, 2015, when 305 rigs were recorded.

By county, Reeves still leads in the Permian with 45 rigs, down one. However, the Delaware subbasin county has company in the 40s. Midland County, in the Midland subbasin, added four rigs this week for a total of 40.

Other counties with double-digit counts were Lea, New Mexico. (31); Loving (29); Martin (20); Eddy, New Mexico (18); Howard (16); Upton (15); Glasscock (12); and Culberson (11).

Counties that saw renewed activity were Crocket, Stonewall and Mitchell. Counties with ceased activity were Hockley and King.

Railroad Commission District 8 jumped two rigs to 202. For other areas with activity in the Permian, District 7B rose one to four, District 7C held steady at 28, District 8A dropped one to 18, and New Mexico grew four to 49.

The total number of rigs operating in the Texas portion of the Permian was 252, up two. In total, 70 percent of the state’s rigs are in the Permian.

The Permian had 172 rigs a year ago.



Texas added seven rigs this week for a total of 362 statewide.

The Eagle Ford is on the cusp of 60 rigs. This week, the South Texas basin was one shy of that mark after seeing an additional three rigs.

The Haynesville rose one to 31, and the Granite Wash was unchanged at eight. The Barnett had three rigs, also unchanged.

One rig was offshore in Texas waters. There weren’t any in inland waters.

New Mexico had 50 rigs, up one. Its  lone rig not in the Permian was operating south of Farmington off U.S. Highway 550.

At this time last year, Texas had 248 rigs and New Mexico had 22.



The number of oil rigs in the U.S. rose eight this week to 591, the most since Oct. 23, 2015, when 594 were recorded. Natural gas rigs were up four to 149, and there was one rig listed as miscellaneous.

In total, the U.S. had 741 rigs, up 12. Twenty of the nation's 21 offshore rigs were in the Gulf of Mexico, down one. Rigs in inland waters rose one to three. Rigs on land rose 12 to 717.

By drilling trajectory, there were 607 horizontal rigs, up 11; 68 vertical rigs, up one; and 66 directional rigs, unchanged.

The U.S. had 541 rigs a year ago.

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