Oil & Gas; Pumpjack; Drilling; rig activity; rig reports; rig counts

U.S. rig counts are going to be an item of much scrutiny over the next year as ShaleCo debt loads gain more attention.

Much has been written on this topic, with much more to come, but we wanted to present an example of the type of analysis that can be achieved in a Power BI environment.

The following Power BI report uses public data to examine trends in North American rig activity.

Source: Finaccity, EIA, Baker Hughes

Current Week Summary

We begin with a dashboard of all rig activity. We highlight the latest rig counts, WoW and YoY changes, trends in total U.S. and Permian rig counts. We also provide a breakdown of activity, by basin, for the current week.

Bucking Historic Trends

On the second page we have combined WTI spot price (U$/bbl) with total U.S. oil rig count and provided a slider where you can focus on a specific time period. The takeaway from this visual is the directional trend of oil drilling activity when compared to WTI price. Prior to 2019, there has been a strong correlation between rig activity and WTI price – no shocker there. Since 2019 there appears to be a decoupling of this relationship as WTI price has steadily increased, yet total U.S. oil rig counts have been decreasing.

Much of the success of the Shale Revolution has been attributed to cheap money coming out of the 2008 financial crisis. Now it looks as though the shine has come off the apple as investors and portfolio managers have lost their patience with the promise of cash to come. The resulting decrease in drilling will result in a decline, or reversal of U.S. oil production growth, as many of the medium E&P’s fail to secure further financing for drilling new locations.

Salvation may be found from the majors such as Exxon and Chevron who have announced aggressive plans for the Permian (1 MMbpd and 0.9 MMbpd, respectively). How that will evolve will be something to watch over the next year to 18 months.

For the time being, we will be keeping a close eye on weekly oil rig activity as ShaleCo’s report quarterly earnings.

Product Specific Focus

The next two pages take a commodity level look at recent activity. The only change in the oil focused page is we have removed rigs which were targeting gas or miscellaneous products. Our focus remains on the Permian, as it is the key driver of oil activity.

The following page looks at rigs targeting gas. The only difference is we have reported activity from the Marcellus and Haynesville basins, as these basins are the largest areas of gas activity.

Canadian Activity

On the final page, we have included rig counts for Canada. Activity in Canada follows seasonal peaks and troughs due to frost-related access restrictions.  The E&P industry in Canada has been experiencing it’s own problems for the past number of years, most notably constrictions on takeaway capacity. The Canadian visual illustrates how Canadian activity has struggled to return from the oil price crash coming out of the fall 2014 OPEC meeting. For illustrative purposes we have separated activity by targeted commodity.


Even though we have focused on rig activity in this report, its primary purpose is to demonstrate how Power BI can be quickly used to summarize, analyze and present data in a manner which is not burdensome to those responsible for its upkeep.

Looking beyond the initial investment of time to build (less than a handful of hours), regular analysis can be accomplished by only a few minutes to update the uderlying data.

This is the real value these tools bring to departments who regularly prepare reports for distribution.

If you are not using tools such as these, coupled with a distribution platform such as SharePoint, you are throwing away hundreds, if not thousands of hours of your departments productivity.

If you would like to learn more, get in touch with me at david@finaccity.com.



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