US rig count falls by 39
According to Baker Hughes the U.S. rig count drilling for natural gas fell by 29 last week. As noted last week the trend towards 400 rigs drilling for gas appeared in place. Well it blew thru that to 389 down 269 from year ago levels. Even more startling is the decline from the 2008 peak of 1,606. The number of rigs drilling for natural gas in the U.S. has fallen by 75%. Equally significant is the drop since October of 2011 from 936 rigs to the current 389 which is a 57% decline. History tells us what the result of this will be and it isn’t good.
On the oil rig side things couldn’t be different. Corresponding to the bottom of the recession in June of 2009 the number of rigs drilling for oil hit a low of 179. By last August the number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. had grown 700% to 1,432. As the graph shows it has slipped some since that high but it still sits at 1,354. It is important to note the scale of the drilling that corresponds to the increase in U.S. domestic oil production since the middle of the last decade.
Pacific Northwest hydro power conditions
With water flows 20% below the 30 years average hydro power generation in the Pacific Northwest deserves watching. This video discusses some of the issues this spring in the region that will not only impact hydro but wind power generators as well.