The total U.S. rig count increased seven this week for a total of 665, one ahead of last year’s total.
Baker Hughes reported 529 rigs exploring for oil, with 135 exploring for natural gas. The Permian Basin still remains the rig leader, with 267 rigs in the area, up three from last week. Colorado gained one, Louisiana was up two, New Mexico increased by three, and Ohio and Pennsylvania each gained one. Wyoming and Alaska lost one each. By basin, the Granite Wash showed a decrease of 5 rigs.
A tentative increase in both rig count and oil price have industry players cautiously optimistic. Halliburton announced it will be hiring 200 workers in Texas, and Job Service North Dakota reported a recent increase in oil and gas jobs in North Dakota. However, according to the jobs report released today by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, December numbers showed employment in mining relatively unchanged, which might indicate a lag in reporting falling slightly behind increased activity.
Rigzone reported that seasonally adjusted figures for December show oil and gas extraction jobs declined by 1,300. Mining jobs, specifically in oil and gas extraction, have remained steady since September 2016.