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FAQs

FAQs

NORTH AMERICA

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What is the North American Rotary Rig Count?

The Baker Hughes North American Rotary Rig Count is a weekly census of the number of drilling rigs actively exploring for or developing oil or natural gas in the United States and Canada.

What makes the Baker Hughes Rig Count unique?

Other companies define activity differently than Baker Hughes and their counts may include rigs that are available or contracted but not actively drilling. These counts provide a census of rigs available for work rather than those actually working.

What is a rotary rig?

A rotary rig rotates the drill pipe from surface to drill a new well (or sidetracking an existing one) to explore for, develop and produce oil or natural gas. The Baker Hughes Rotary Rig count includes only those rigs that are significant consumers of oilfield services and supplies and does not include cable tool rigs, very small truck mounted rigs or rigs that can operate without a permit. Non-rotary rigs may be included in the count based on how they are employed. For example, coiled tubing and workover rigs employed in drilling new wells are included in the count.

When is a rotary rig "active" ?

To be counted as active a rig must be on location and be drilling or 'turning to the right' for the majority of the week (4 out of 7 days). A rig is considered active from the moment the well is "spudded" until it reaches target depth or "TD". Rigs that are in transit from one location to another, rigging up or being used in non-drilling activities such as workovers, completions or production testing, are NOT counted as active.

How is the rotary rig count performed?

Baker Hughes field representatives maintain frequent contact with all operating rigs in their district, whether or not they are using BH drill bits.

What rig data is contained in the “North American Rig Count Report”?

North America Rig Count Report
Published each Friday at noon central U.S. time. Included in this report:

  • NAM Summary
  • NAM Breakdown
  • NAM Yearly/Quarterly/Monthly/Weekly and these can be filtered by:
    • Country
    • County
    • Basin
    • GOM
    • DrillFor
    • Location
    • State/Province
    • Trajectory
    • Year/Quarter/Month/US_PublishDate
    • Rig Count Value
What files are contained in North America Rig Counts Archive?

North America Rotary Rig Count (Jan 2000 -March 2024) – a detailed Excel file with 7 tabs, as described below:

  • US Count by Basin (From February 2011 to March 2024)
  • US Land & Offshore Split by State
  • US Oil & Gas Split
  • US Count by Trajectory
  • Gulf of Mexico Split
  • Canada Land & Offshore Split by Province
  • Canada Oil & Gas Split

North America Rotary Rig Count Pivot Table (Feb 2011 – March 2024) – an excel file in a pivot table format which includes Country, State, County, Basin, Drill for Type, Location, Trajectory, Well Type, Well Depth, Water Depth data by week.

Rigs by State - historical rig counts by State Jan 2000 to March 2024.

U.S. Monthly Averages by State 1992-2016

North America Rotary Rig counts through to 2016

U.S. Annual Average by State 1987 - 2016

Historical Workover Rig Data - June 2007 back through 1999 – an Excel file. Baker Hughes no longer publishes this data.

What other information is available about the North America rigs?

Over the years, the weekly U.S. rotary rig count has been extended to include additional information or subsets of the total count. These "splits" include the number of rigs drilling on land, in inland waters and offshore. In addition, the weekly US count includes a split of rigs drilling for oil or natural gas and the number drilling directional and horizontal wells. Other geographic splits are available such as the North and South counts for Louisiana and the Railroad Commission Districts of Texas. The various rig count subsets may cover different time spans.

WORLDWIDE

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What is the Worldwide (International areas) Rotary Rig Count?
The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count is a monthly census of active drilling rigs exploring for or developing oil or natural gas outside North America (U.S. and Canada). The Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count does not include rigs drilling in Russia, the Caspian region, Iran, Sudan, Cuba, North Korea or onshore China. Iraq was excluded from the International Rotary Rig Count for the period September 1990 to May 2012. Syria is currently excluded from the International Rotary Rig Count as of February 2012 due to difficulty obtaining data as a result of continued civil unrest.
When is a Worldwide rotary rig "active"?
In international areas, rigs are counted on a weekly basis and deemed active if drilling activities occurred during the majority of the week. The weekly results are averaged for the month and published each month. A rig is considered drilling if it is turning to the right (i.e. the well is underway but has not reached the target depth or T.D.). Rigs that are in transit from one location to another, rigging up, or are being used in non-drilling activities including production testing, completion, and workovers are not included in the active rig count.
How is the Worldwide (International areas) rotary rig count performed?
Baker Hughes field representatives maintain frequent contact with all operating rigs in their district, whether or not they are using BH drill bits. This close contact with the customer enables the company to track the number of active rigs in each area. Regional offices throughout the world gather rig activity information and report by the end of the month for publication on the last working day of the first week of the month.
What rig data is contained in “Worldwide Rig Count Report”?

Worldwide Rig Count report contains rig data from 2011 - present by month. The worldwide rig count is released on the last working day of the first week of the month. Included in this report:

  • WW Summary
  • WW Breakdown
  • WW Yearly/Quarterly/Monthly and these can be filtered by:
    • Region
    • Country
    • Drillfor
    • Location
    • Year
    • Month
    • Rig Count Value
What files are contained in Worldwide Rig Counts Archive?

International Rig Count Spreadsheet (monthly) - an Excel file with the following historical data by region and country. Master Data Pivot (June 2012 Forward):

  • 1995 – March 2024 Oil & Gas Split by Month
  • 1982 – March 2024 Land and Offshore Split by Month
  • Master Data

Worldwide Rig Count - an Excel which contains rig data from 1975 to March 2024.

What other information is available about the Worldwide rigs?
The monthly Baker Hughes International Rotary Rig Count presents the number of rigs working in each country, drilling on land or offshore, and drilling for oil, natural gas or for other purposes.

MISCELLANEOUS

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What is the difference between a directional and a horizontal well?

Directional wells are typically drilled when the surface location of the well cannot be located directly above the reservoir. Offshore platforms or "pad sites" on land are the most common examples. In these cases, there are a multitude of wells that start at one location, but they all intersect the reservoir at a different spot. Directional wells can be drilled to:

  • Control vertical wells
  • Allow intersection by a relief well in the event of a blowout.
  • Provide accessibility to an otherwise inaccessible location.
  • Fulfil specific government regulations, such as in shoreline drilling.
  • Avoid collision with other wells when multiple wells exist in one platform.
  • Avoid or bypass an obstruction in the wellbore or formation.
  • Hit a specific geologic target, such as below a salt dome.

A horizontal well is a type of directional well, when the inclination exceeds 80 degrees from vertical, or when the lower part of the well bore parallels the pay zone. Horizontal wells are drilled to increase the length of the well that actually contacts the reservoir, in order to increase the productivity of the well.

How is the determination between drilling for oil and gas made?
The determination is made by the operating company when the rig permit is issued by the state's permitting authority. The operating company will drill appraisal well(s) to determine the hydrocarbon target. Based on the results, the operator makes a judgment call on how to classify the well. For example, if a well is producing – on a Btu basis – 50% gas; 20% NGLs and 30% oil, it could either be listed as a gas well (gas is the largest component), or an oil well (which is driving the economics). This judgment is solely up to the operator.
Can I use Baker Hughes rig count data in my presentations, articles, reports, etc.?
Subject to the Terms and Conditions of the website, Baker Hughes grants the public permission to use the information and any copyrighted expression on this Rig Count website, including downloads, provided that BH and this website are cited as the source of the information.
Technical issue: I can't view the map in the Interactive Rig Count.
As of October 2019, we sunset the interactive map feature within our rig count site. You can continue to access the data by downloading the rig count iphone/ipad app or by downloading the files available on the site.