The Baker Hughes North American rig count is up 12 rigs in the February 9 week to 1,300, as a large increase in the U.S. count overshadowed a sizeable decline in Canada. The U.S. rig count is up 29 rigs from last week to 975 and is up 234 rigs from last year at this time. The Canadian count is down 17 rigs from last week to 325 and is down 27 rigs compared to last year.
For the U.S. count, rigs classified as drilling for oil are up 26 rigs at 791 and gas rigs are up 3 at 184. For the Canadian count, oil rigs are down 13 at 221 and gas rigs are down 4 at 70.
WTI crude oil prices above $60 dollars per barrel and at 3 year highs have boosted drilling by North American oil exploration companies, where breakeven costs are mostly below $50 per barrel. But the sharp drop in oil prices this week to below $59 per barrel may moderate new exploration activity in the near term.