Asia-Pacific rig count steadies

DATA released by drilling service contractor Baker Hughes on Saturday revealed active oil and gas rig use in the Asia Pacific region remained steady over May after plunging in April.
Asia-Pacific rig count steadies Asia-Pacific rig count steadies Asia-Pacific rig count steadies Asia-Pacific rig count steadies Asia-Pacific rig count steadies

Paul Hunt

Senior Journalist: Energy & Commodities

Paul Hunt

According to Baker Hughes there are 18 active oil and gas drilling rigs in Australia, down from 24 in April and 26 in March. Rig use is down 64% compared to October last year. 

New Zealand has one active rig, down from four in March when the Ardern government closed the country in a level-4 shutdown to contain COVID-19. 

Overall, there has been a 15.2% decrease in active rigs since March in the region. 

In March there were 231 active rigs being utilised across the Asia Pacific. In May there were 196 units throughout the entire region. 

India, which is struggling to contain its COVID-19 pandemic and imposed one of the toughest lockdowns in the world, has seen rig utilisation increase from 90 units in April to 106 in May.  This is down from 117 active rigs in March, or roughly 10%. 

Rig use in Indonesia has also increased from 19 active units in April to 21 in May, however it remains down from 28 active units pre-COVID. 

Vietnam has two active rigs, as does Thailand and Japan. There were six rigs in use in Malaysia.

Brunei, Papua New Guinea, South Korea, currently have no active rigs. Myanmar and the Philippines both fell from two rigs to none over May. 

Outside of the Asia Pacific, the rig count has continued to plummet in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and Africa. 

Rig use in Africa is down to just 61 units from 103 in April and 108 in March,  a fall of approximately 43.5%.  

Similarly, Latin America has been hit hard by COVID-19 in countries like Brazil, with rig utilisation falling to 62 units in May, from 169 rigs just eight weeks ago. 

Europe saw further falls from 130 units pre-COVID-19 to 111 in May. The Middle East rig count also continued to fall, to 375 units from 420 in April. 

North America has been decimated by both COVID-19 restrictions and the oil price crash which saw US Crude prices fall briefly into negative territory two months ago. 

Canada has just 23 active rigs, compared to 250 pre-COVID-19. 

The US rig count has dropped to 348 units from 566 in April and 772 units in March. The majority of the collapse has come from the onshore shale patch.