Masters Of War

Come you masters of war You that build all the guns You that build the death planes You that build all the bombs You that hide behind walls You that hide behind desks I just want you to know I can see through your masks. You that never done nothin' But build to destroy You play with my world Like it's your little toy You put a gun in my hand And you hide from my eyes And you turn and run farther When the fast bullets fly. Like Judas of old You lie and deceive A world war can be won You want me to believe But I see through your eyes And I see through your brain Like I see through the water That runs down my drain. You fasten all the triggers For the others to fire Then you set back and watch When the death count gets higher You hide in your mansion' As young people's blood Flows out of their bodies And is buried in the mud. You've thrown the worst fear That can ever be hurled Fear to bring children Into the world For threatening my baby Unborn and unnamed You ain't worth the blood That runs in your veins. How much do I know To talk out of turn You might say that I'm young You might say I'm unlearned But there's one thing I know Though I'm younger than you That even Jesus would never Forgive what you do. Let me ask you one question Is your money that good Will it buy you forgiveness Do you think that it could I think you will find When your death takes its toll All the money you made Will never buy back your soul. And I hope that you die And your death'll come soon I will follow your casket In the pale afternoon And I'll watch while you're lowered Down to your deathbed And I'll stand over your grave 'Til I'm sure that you're dead.------- Bob Dylan 1963

Monday, March 16, 2020

oil prices down by half in 2 months; oil surplus near 2.2 mpd in February; biggest ​distillates ​draw in 16 years

oil prices now down by half from January’s high on coronavirus and price war impacts; globl oil surplus near 2.2 mpd in February even with OPEC cuts still in effect; biggest ​distillates ​draw since January 2004, natural gas rigs at a new 40 month low

US oil prices fell 23% this past week after the Saudis initiated an oil price war against the Russians for their failure to agree on oil production cuts that the Saudis were pushing at the OPEC meeting the week before, a failure which itself had precipitated a 10% drop to a 42 month low on Friday of last week...before the markets even opened for this week, oil prices had plunged 30% in early trading on Sunday night, after the Saudis marked down prices on all the grades of oil they sell and indicated they'd be increasing production....hence, when the markets opened Monday morning, the contract price of US light sweet crude for April delivery opened $8.41 or 20.4% lower than last week's close of $41.28 at $32.87 a barrel and continued falling in early trading, tanking by more that 30% to $27.34 amid forecasts for $20 oil, before recovering to settle at $31.13 a barrel, hence posting a loss of $10.15 or 24.6% on the day, its biggest one day drop since 1991...oil prices then rebounded on Tuesday following reports that talks between OPEC and its allies remained possible, with oil prices closing up $3.23 or more than 10% at $34.36 a barrel, surging with the equity markets as the possibility of economic stimulus encouraged buying while U.S. producers slashed spending in a move that traders hoped would reduce output....after opening higher and rallying to as high as $36 early Wednesday, crude prices turned lower after Saudi Aramco said it had been directed by the energy ministry to raise its production capacity by a million barrels per day (10%) and after the EIA reported the biggest jump in US crude supplies since October, with US crude settling $1.38, or 4% lower at $32.98 per barrel....oil prices fell again on Thursday amid a broad decline in global markets after the US banned travel from Europe following the World Health Organization's decision to declare the coronavirus outbreak a pandemic, with US crude prices falling as much as 8% to a low of $30.02 before recovering to close at $31.50, a loss of $1.48 on the day...oil prices opened lower on Friday and were down more than a dollar while waiting for Trump's expected State of Emergency declaration, but jumped more than 5% after Trump announced his intention to buy "large quantities of oil" for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and settled with a gain of 23 cents at $31.73 a barrel ...nonetheless, oil prices posted their biggest weekly percentage drop since the financial crisis of 2008 this week, rocked by both the coronavirus pandemic and efforts Saudi Arabia and its allies to flood the market with record levels of supply...

March 14 2020 oil prices

the above graph is a screenshot of the interactive price chart for the April oil contract at Barchart.com, a "leading provider of real-time or delayed intraday stock and commodities charts and quotes", and it shows the range of prices for the April oil futures contract as a vertical bar for each day over the past 6 months...note that each bar has two small horizontal appendages: the one on the left is the opening price for the month the bar indicates, while the appendage on the right is the month's closing price...across the bottom the red and green bars indicate the trading volume for each day, with down days indicated in red and days when the price rose indicated in green...what we want to note here is the precipitous fall in oil prices since the interim high for the April contract was hit on January 8th, when oil briefly traded at $64.99 a barrel before falling back...this week's closing price thus represents less than half of that high, with Monday nadir of $27.34 a barrel representing a 58% decline in just two month's time..

while oil prices were falling, natural gas prices were moving higher on expectations that the collapse in oil prices would prompt drillers to cut back on both oil and gas production... after rising 1.4% to $1.708 per mmBTU even as the weather remained bearish last week, the contract price of natural gas for April delivery jumped 7 cents, or over 4% on Monday on forecasts for colder weather and higher heating demand next week than was previously expected...natural gas futures then soared 15.8 cents or almost 9% on Tuesday, on hopes of an economic stimulus package and expectations the that oil price collapse would prompt U.S. drillers to cut back on oil and associated gas production in major shale oil basins...after flirting with $2 gas, prices fell back on Wednesday and ended 5.8 cents lower despite forecasts for a little more gas demand over the next two weeks than was previously expected...prices fell another 3.7 cents, or 2%, after the EIA reported a smaller than expected withdrawal of gas from storage on Thursday, even as the decline was limited by forecasts for cooler U.S. weather and higher heating demand over the next two weeks and expectations the oil price drop this week would cut crude and associated gas production in shale basins....the April natural gas contract then added 2.8 cents on Friday's state of emergency declaration to finish the week at $1.869 per mmBTU, thus showing a 9.4% gain for the week..

the natural gas storage report from the EIA on the week ending March 6th indicated that the quantity of natural gas held in underground storage in the US fell by 48 billion cubic feet to 2,043 billion cubic feet by the end of the week, which left our gas supplies 796 billion cubic feet, or 63.8% higher than the 1,247 billion cubic feet that were in storage on March 6th of last year, and 227 billion cubic feet, or 12.5% above the five-year average of 1,816 billion cubic feet of natural gas that has been in storage as of the 6th of March in recent years....the 48 billion cubic feet that were withdrawn from US natural gas storage this week was less than the consensus estimate for a 55 billion cubic feet withdrawal from a survey of analysts by S&P Global Platts, and was also much less than the average 99 billion cubic feet of natural gas that have been pulled from natural gas storage during the first week of March over the past 5 years, while it was way less than the 164 billion cubic feet withdrawal reported during the corresponding week of 2019..

The Latest US Oil Supply and Disposition Data from the EIA

US oil data from the US Energy Information Administration for the week ending March 6th indicated that a modest increase in our oil imports and a big drop in our oil exports left us with a large surplus of oil to add to our stored commercial supplies, the eighteenth addition to storage in the past twenty-six weeks....our imports of crude oil rose by an average of 174,000 barrels per day to an average of 6,412,000 barrels per day, after rising by an average of 21,000 barrels per day during the prior week, while our exports of crude oil fell by an average of 744,000 barrels per day to 3,410,000 barrels per day during the week, which meant that our effective trade in oil worked out to a net import average of 3,002,000 barrels of per day during the week ending March 6th, 918,000 more barrels per day than the net of our imports minus our exports during the prior week...over the same period, the production of crude oil from US wells fell by 100,000 barrels per day to 13,000,000 barrels per day, and hence our daily supply of oil from the net of our trade in oil and from well production totaled an average of 16,002,000 barrels per day during this reporting week..

meanwhile, US oil refineries reported they were processing 15,702,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending March 6th, 5,000 more barrels per day than the amount of oil they used during the prior week, while over the same period the EIA's surveys indicated that an average of 1,095,000 barrels of oil per day were being added to to the supplies of oil stored in the US....so looking at that data, this week's crude oil figures from the EIA appear to indicate that our total working supply of oil from net imports and from oilfield production was 794,000 barrels per day less than what what was added to storage plus what our oil refineries reported they used during the week....to account for that disparity between the apparent supply of oil and the apparent disposition of it, the EIA just inserted a (+794,000) barrel per day figure onto line 13 of the weekly U.S. Petroleum Balance Sheet to make the reported data for the daily supply of oil and the consumption of it balance out, essentially a fudge factor that they label in their footnotes as "unaccounted for crude oil", thus suggesting an error or errors of that magnitude in the oil supply & demand figures we have just transcribed...however, since the media treats these figures as gospel and since they drive oil pricing and hence decisions to drill for oil, we'll continue to report them, just as they're watched & believed as accurate by most everyone else...(for more on how this weekly oil data is gathered, and the possible reasons for that "unaccounted for" oil, see this EIA explainer)....   

further details from the weekly Petroleum Status Report (pdf) indicate that the 4 week average of our oil imports fell to an average of 6,354,000 barrels per day last week, now 6.5% less than the 6,797,000 barrel per day average that we were importing over the same four-week period last year....the 1,095,000 barrel per day net addition to our total crude inventories was all added to our commercially available stocks of crude oil, while the quantity of oil stored in our Strategic Petroleum Reserve remained unchanged....this week's crude oil production was reported to be 100,000 barrels per day lower at 13,000,000 barrels per day because the rounded estimate of the output from wells in the lower 48 states was 100,000 barrels per day lower at 12,500,000 barrels per day, while a 1,000 barrel per day decrease Alaska's oil production to 473,000 barrels per day had no impact on the rounded national total....last year's US crude oil production for the week ending March 8th was rounded to 12,000,000 barrels per day, so this reporting week's rounded oil production figure was 8.3% above that of a year ago, and 54.2% more than the interim low of 8,428,000 barrels per day that US oil production fell to during the last week of June of 2016...    

meanwhile, US oil refineries were operating at 86.4% of their capacity in using 15,702,000 barrels of crude per day during the week ending March 6th, down from 86.9% of capacity the prior week, but still near the recent average refinery capacity utilization for the first week of March, historically the time of year that refineries changeover to summer blends and undergo maintenance...however, the 15,702,000 barrels per day of oil that were refined this week were 2.0% less than the 16,020,000 barrels of crude that were being processed daily during the week ending March 8th, 2019, when US refineries were operating at 87.6% of capacity....

even with the amount of oil being refined little changed, gasoline output from our refineries was somewhat higher, increasing by 199,000 barrels per day to 9,956,000 barrels per day during the week ending March 6th, after our refineries' gasoline output had decreased by 40,000 barrels per day over the prior week... after this week's increase in gasoline output, our gasoline production was 2.3% higher than the 9,735,000 barrels of gasoline that were being produced daily over the same week of last year....meanwhile, our refineries' production of distillate fuels (diesel fuel and heat oil) increased by 57,000 barrels per day to 4,705,000 barrels per day, after our distillates output had decreased by 198,000 barrels per day over the prior week...but even after this week's increase in distillates output, our distillates' production for the week was 3.1% less than the 4,856,000 barrels of distillates per day that were being produced during the week ending March 8th, 2019....

even with the increase in our gasoline production, our supply of gasoline in storage at the end of the week fell for the six week in a row, after twelve consecutive increases, and was hence down for the 20th time in 38 weeks, falling by 5,049,000 barrels to 246,999,000 barrels during the week ending March 6th, after our gasoline supplies had decreased by 4,339,000 barrels over the prior week....our gasoline supplies decreased by even more this week because the amount of gasoline supplied to US markets increased by 263,000 barrels per day to 9,449,000 barrels per day, while our exports of gasoline fell by 67,000 barrels per day to 745,000 barrels per day, while our imports of gasoline rose by 199,000 barrels per day to 710,000 barrels per day....but even after this week's big inventory decrease, our gasoline supplies were still fractionally higher than last March 8th's gasoline inventories of 246,090,000 barrels, and about 1% above the five year average of our gasoline supplies for the same time of the year...

similarly, with the decrease in our distillates production, our supplies of distillate fuels decreased for the 18th time in 24 weeks and for 33rd time in the past 49 weeks, falling by 6,404,000 barrels to 128,060,000 barrels during the week ending March 6th, the biggest draw since January 2004, after our distillates supplies had decreased by 4,008,000 barrels over the prior week....our distillates supplies fell by a near record amount this week because the amount of distillates supplied to US markets, an indicator of our domestic demand, rose by 479,000 barrels per day to 4,398,000 barrels per day, and because our exports of distillates rose by 103,000 barrels per day to 1,530,000 barrels per day, while our imports of distillates rose by 183,000 barrels per day to 308,000 barrels per day....after this week's big inventory decrease, our distillate supplies at the end of the week were 6.1% lower than the 136,369,000 barrels of distillates that we had stored on March 8th, 2019, and fell to about 10% below the five year average of distillates stocks for this time of the year...

finally, with the big drop in our oil exports, our commercial supplies of crude oil in storage rose for the twentieth time in thirty-seven weeks and for the thirty-second time in the past 52 weeks, increasing by 7,664,000 barrels, from 444,119,000 barrels on February 28th to 451,783,000 barrels on March 6th, the largest increase since November 1st ....but even after 7 straight increases, our crude oil inventories were stlll roughly 2% below the five-year average of crude oil supplies for this time of year, even while they remained about 35% higher than the prior 5 year (2010 - 2014) average of crude oil stocks after the first week of March, with the disparity between those comparisons arising because it wasn't until early 2015 that our oil inventories first rose above 400 million barrels....even though our crude oil inventories had generally been rising over the past year, except for during this past summer, after generally falling until then through most of the prior year and a half, our oil supplies as of March 6th were just fractionally above the 449,072,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on March 8th of 2019, and still 4.8% above the 430,928,000 barrels of oil that we had in storage on March 9th of 2018, while at the same time remaining 14.5% below the 528,156,000 barrels of oil we had in commercial storage on March 10th of 2017, a week which followed a period when we had been adding 10 million barrels per week to storage...   

OPEC's Monthly Oil Market Report

Wednesday of this past week saw the release of OPEC's March Oil Market Report, which covers OPEC & global oil data for February, and hence it gives us a picture of the global oil supply & demand situation as production cuts totaling 2.1 million barrels a day from OPEC and its partners were still in effect, before the recent breakdown of OPECs agreemen...but as we'll see, this report shows there was already a surplus more than 2 million barrels per day of oil produced globally in February, almost entirely due to coronavirus related downward revisions to demand...we should note as a caveat that estimating demand while an epidemic is spreading is pretty much a crapshoot, and hence the numbers we'll be reporting this month should be considered having a much larger margin of error than we'd normally expect from this report..

the first table from this monthly report that we'll look at is from the page numbered 55 of that report (pdf page 63), and it shows oil production in thousands of barrels per day for each of the current OPEC members over the recent years, quarters and months, as the column headings indicate...for all their official production measurements, OPEC uses an average of estimates from six "secondary sources", namely the International Energy Agency (IEA), the oil-pricing agencies Platts and Argus, ‎the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), the oil consultancy Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA) and the industry newsletter Petroleum Intelligence Weekly, as a means of impartially adjudicating whether their output quotas and production cuts are being met, to thus avert any potential disputes that could arise if each member reported their own figures...

February 2020 OPEC crude output via secondary sources

as we can see from the above table of oil production data, OPEC's oil output fell by 546,000 barrels per day to 27,772,000 barrels per day in February, from their revised January production total of 28,318,000 barrels per day...however that January output figure was originally reported as 28,859,000 barrels per day, which means that OPEC's January production was revised 541,000 barrels per day lower with this report, and hence February's production was, in effect, a 1,087,000 barrel per day decrease from the previously reported OPEC production figures (for your reference, here is the table of the official January OPEC output figures as reported a month ago, before this month's revisions)...

from that OPEC table, we can also see that the 647,000 barrel per day decrease in production in wartorn Libya was the only reason for the February drop in OPEC's output, and were it not for that, there would have been a modest production increase, as several OPEC members increased output...nonetheless, it appears that oil output from most OPEC members, other than that of Iraq, still remains far enough below the output allocations that were originally determined for each OPEC member after their December 7th, 2018 meeting, when OPEC agreed to cut 800,000 barrels per day as part of a 1.2 million barrel per day cut agreed to with Russia and other oil producers so as to allow for such modest increases....those output allocations for 2019, before ​the first quarter's additional cuts, can be seen in the first table of OPEC production quotas for last year which we've included on the left below: 

OPEC supply cut targets as of October 2019

OPEC additional supply cuts as of December 2019

in addition to the allocations shown on the table on the left, at their meeting with other oil producers on December 6th of this past year, OPEC announced additional production cuts of 500,000 barrels per day through to March 2020 on top of those 2019 allocations, a breakdown of which we have in a table from OPEC on the right above...that table was posted on OPEC's website after their December 6th meeting, and it shows the additional production cuts each of the OPEC members and their allies among other producers ​were expected to make over the 3 month period beginning January...as you see, the heaviest output cuts have been on the core OPEC members of Saudi Arabia. the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait and Iraq, while embargoed Iran and Venezuela remain exempt...obviously, that table would be more ​useful if their current production, or even their expected end production, were included, but i've been unable to find a table with those complete metrics, so we'll just have to make do switching back and forth between the two tables we have to see how each member is impacted....in addition to those cuts that came out of the December​ ​OPEC meeting, the Saudis ​had ​voluntarily pledged to cut an additional 400,000 barrels a day more than was mandated by the December 6th agreement, bringing the total current output cut for the group to 2.1 million barrels a day, or more than 2% of global output...however, with the breakdown of the OPEC talks the Friday before last, and the Saudi's subsequent declaration that they would increase production, those production cuts have now gone by the boards...nonetheless, the stated intentions to increase production ​going forward ​do not affect the February data that we're looking at today...

the next graphic from the report that we'll include shows us both OPEC and world oil production monthly on the same graph, over the period from March 2018 to February 2020, and it comes from page 54 (pdf page 66) of the March OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report....on this graph, the cerulean blue bars represent OPEC oil production in millions of barrels per day as shown on the left scale, while the purple graph represents global oil production in millions of barrels per day, with the metrics for global output shown on the right scale... 

February 2020 OPEC report global oil supply

largely due to the 546,000 barrel per day drop in OPEC's production from what they produced a month ago, OPEC's preliminary estimate indicates that total global oil production was down by a rounded 0.29 million barrels per day to average 99.75 million barrels per day in January, a reported decrease which came after January's total global output figure was revised lower by 80,000 barrels per day from the 100.12 million barrels per day of global oil output that was reported a month ago, as non-OPEC oil production rose by a rounded 250,000 barrels per day in February after that revision, with higher oil production from the US, Norway, Guyana, Bahrain, Oman and the UK the major reasons for the non-OPEC output increase in February... despite the decrease in February's output, the 99.75 million barrels of oil per day produced globally in February were 0.86 million barrels per day, or 0.9% greater than the 98.89 million barrels of oil per day that were being produced globally in February a year ago, the 2nd month of OPECs first round of production cuts (see the March 2019 OPEC report (online pdf) for the originally reported February 2019 details)...with this month's downward revision to and decrease in OPEC's output, their February oil production of 27,772,000 barrels per day fell to 27.8% of what was produced globally during the month, down from the 28.3% share OPEC contributed in January, and the 29.3% global share they had in December, before Ecuador quit the cartel...OPEC's February 2019 production, which included 522,000 barrels per day from Ecuador, was reported at 30,549,000 barrels per day, which means that the 13 OPEC members who were part of OPEC last year produced 2,255,000 fewer barrels per day of oil in February than what they produced a year ago, when they accounted for 30.8% of global output, with 760,000 barrel per day drop in the output from Libya, a 663,000 barrel per day drop in the output from Iran, a 404,000 barrel per day decrease in output from Saudi Arabia, and a 242,000 barrel per day decrease in the output from Venezuela from that time accounting for most of the year over year output decrease... 

even with the big drop in OPEC's output that we've seen in this report, there was a still substantial surplus in the amount of oil being produced globally during the month, as this next table from the OPEC report will show us...     

February 2020 OPEC report global oil demand

the above table came from page 30 of the March OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report (pdf page 40), and it shows regional and total oil demand estimates in millions of barrels per day for 2019 in the first column, and OPEC's estimate of oil demand by region and globally quarterly over 2020 over the rest of the table...on the "Total world" line in the second column, we've circled in blue the figure that's relevant for February, which is their estimate of global oil demand during the first quarter of 2019...

OPEC is estimating that during the 1st quarter of this year, all oil consuming regions of the globe will be using 97.58 million barrels of oil per day, which is a 1.95 million barrel per day downward revision from the 99.51 million barrels of oil per day they were estimating for the 1st quarter a month ago (circled in green), largely reflecting coronavirus related demand destruction....meanwhile, as OPEC showed us in the oil supply section of this report and the summary supply graph above, OPEC and the rest of the world's oil producers were producing 99.75 million barrels per day during February, which means that there was a surplus of around 2,170,000 barrels per day in global oil production ​in ​February​ ​when compared to the demand estimated for the month... 

the revisions to January output and to 1st quarter demand (included in the green ellipse above) means that the previous surplus figure we had computed for January should be revised as well....however, the downward revision to 1st quarter demand was due to the impacts of the coronavirus, which were negligible during January, meaning that 1.95 million barrel per day revision for the quarter reflects demand impacts that fell over February and are expected over March...however, since we're computing monthly surplus or shortfalls off of quarterly demand data, the only way we can get close to an accurate estimate for the 3 months of the quarter would be to compute the figures as if the demand revision were evenly spread over those months...

hence, since we ​had ​estimated a surplus of 610,000 barrels per day in global oil production during January a month ago, based on the figures published at that time, we'll adjust that as part of an eventual first quarter total and revise that accordingly... as we saw earlier, January's global output figure was was revised 80,000 barrels per day lower than the figures published a month ago, while global demand for the 1st quarter was 1.95 million barrel per day lower, so with these revised figures, we'll now find that global oil production in January was running roughly 2,480,000 barrels per day in excess of demand...

meanwhile, for 2019, OPEC is revising its demand estimates 80,000 barrels per day lower, which we have circled in orange...while most of that downward revision falls in the 4th quarter, it's now a bit too far removed for us to be recomputing monthly figures for that period, so we'll just apply that 80,000 barrel per day demand revision to the year as a whole....based on revisions in the February OPEC Monthly Oil Market Report, we had figured and oil shortage of 284,090,000 barrels for the entirely of 2019...since demand for the year has now been revised 80,000 barrels per day lower, our new estimate would be that 2019's glogal oil production saw a shortage of 254,890,000 barrels, compared to OPEC's estimated demand....that's still a substantial a net oil shortfall that is the equivalent of more than two and a half days of global oil production at the December production rate... 

This Week's Rig Count

despite the recent drop​s​ in​ both​ oil & gas prices, the US rig count remained nearly stagnant for the 7th week in a row over the week ending March 13th, as decisions to redeploy equipment typically lag prices by several weeks...but while the rig count is down by just a quarter-percent since the beginning of this year, it still remains down by 27% from the end of 2018....Baker Hughes reported that the total count of rotary rigs running in the US decreased by one rigs to 792 rigs this past week, which was still down by 234 rigs from the 1026 rigs that were in use as of the March 15th report of 2019, and 1,137 fewer rigs than the shale era high of 1,929 drilling rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014, the week before OPEC began to flood the global oil market in an attempt to put US shale out of business...

the number of rigs drilling for oil increased by 1 rig to 683 oil rigs this week, which was still 150 fewer oil rigs than were running a year ago, and much lower than the recent high of 1609 rigs that were drilling for oil on October 10th, 2014....at the same time, the number of drilling rigs targeting natural gas bearing formations decreased by 2 to 107 natural gas rigs, which was the least number of natural gas rigs active since October 21st of 2016, and hence was another 40 month low for natural gas drilling...natural gas rigs were also down by 86 gas rigs from the 193 natural gas rigs that were drilling a year ago, and way down from the modern era high of 1,606 rigs targeting natural gas that were deployed on September 7th, 2008...in addition to the rigs drilling for oil & gas, two rigs classified as 'miscellaneous' continued to drill this week; one on the big island of Hawaii, and one in Lake County, California... a year ago, there were no such "miscellaneous" rigs deployed..

offshore drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico dropped by 4 rigs to 19 rigs this week, with 18 Gulf rigs remaining in Louisiana waters and one rig still drilling offshore from Texas...that's now three less than the number of rigs that were deployed in the Gulf a year ago, when 19 rigs were drilling offshore from Louisiana and three rigs were operating in Texas waters...with no rigs deployed off other US shores elsewhere at this time, the current Gulf of Mexico rig count is thus equal to the national offshore rig total, as it has been all winter...

the count of active horizontal drilling rigs increased by 5 rigs to 713 horizontal rigs this week, which was the most horizontal rigs active since November 1st 2019, but still 194 fewer horizontal rigs than the 907 horizontal rigs that were in use in the US on March 15th of last year, and also well down from the record of 1372 horizontal rigs that were deployed on November 21st of 2014....on the other hand, the directional rig count was down by three rigs to 48 directional rigs this week, and those were also down by 17 from the 65 directional rigs that were operating during the same week of last year....​in addition, the vertical rig count was also down by three rigs to 31 vertical rigs this week, and those were down by 23 from the 54 vertical rigs that were in use on March 15th of 2019...

the details on this week's changes in drilling activity by state and by major shale basin are shown in our screenshot below of that part of the rig count summary pdf from Baker Hughes that gives us those changes...the first table below shows weekly and year over year rig count changes for the major oil & gas producing states, and the table below that shows the weekly and year over year rig count changes for the major US geological oil and gas basins...in both tables, the first column shows the active rig count as of March 13th, the second column shows the change in the number of working rigs between last week's count (March 6th) and this week's (March 13th) count, the third column shows last week's March 6th active rig count, the 4th column shows the change between the number of rigs running on Friday and the number running before the same weekend of a year ago, and the 5th column shows the number of rigs that were drilling at the end of that reporting week a year ago, which in this week’s case was the 15th of March, 2019...    

March 13 2020 rig count summary

the ​5 rig drop in the Louisiana rig count reflects the shutting down of the 4 aforementioned offshore rigs that had been deployed in Louisiana waters, and a Haynesville shale rig in the northwest corner of the state; however, the Haynesville rig count remain​ed unchanged because a rig began drilling in that basin on the Texas side of the state line at the same time...the 4 rig increase in Texas includes that rig, Permian basin rigs that were added Texas Oil Districts 7C and 8A, the districts that encompass the Permian Midland basin, as well as rig additions in Texas Oil Districts 1 and 3, which were offset by the stacking of a rig in Texas Oil District 2...with Texas thus adding two Permian rigs this week, we can therefore figure that the rig that was added in New Mexico had to drilling in the western Permian Delaware..​.the Cana Woodford addition was an oil rig drilling in Oklahoma, offset by a conventional rig that was shut down elsewhere in the state..​.among rigs drilling for natural gas, two were added in West Virginia's Marcellus while 2 were shut down in Ohio's Utica and two more natural gas rigs were shut down in "other basins" that Baker Hughes does not track separately..

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