Rig Count Advances for Sixth Consecutive Week

The U.S. rig count rose by eight in the last week to 430 as of Feb. 3 marking the sixth consecutive week of increases. The largest week-over-week gain was in the Permian Basin (plus seven to 192) and the Williston Basin (plus three to 15).

According to Enverus Rig Analytics, the rig count in the U.S. is up 12% in the last month but still down 47% year-over-year.

In the Permian Basin, Chevron Corp. has increased its activity to a six-rig program after averaging five in January. Tap Rock Operating added five rigs in the basin at the beginning of February after averaging four rigs for the last three months. Apache Corp. is also ramping up its Permian Basin drilling program that had been dormant for eight months by mobilizing a rig in Upton County, Texas.

Most energy firms plan to continue cutting spending for a third year in a row in 2021 as they keep focusing on improving earnings rather than increasing output. U.S. financial services firm Cowen & Co. said the 45 independent E&P companies it tracks plan to cut spending by about 6% in 2021 versus 2020 — this follows capex reductions of roughly 48% in 2020 and 12% in 2019.