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Well Servicing Rigs Count Rising, But Still Below Pre-Pandemic Levels

Well Servicing Rigs: March 2021The number of well servicing rigs active in North America grew by 10% in March 2021 to reach 923 rigs, the highest total rig count since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, according to data compiled by the Energy Workforce & Technology Council.

While the active well service rig count has risen steadily since a pandemic-low of 456 in April 2020, the number is currently 15% below March 2020 total of 1,086 rigs. The sector added 20 rigs in the Permian, 18 in the Mid-Continent, and 14 in the Texas Gulf Coast and Rocky Mountain regions.

The monthly rig count, first published by the Association of Energy Service Companies (AESC) in 1970, is compiled from data submitted by oil and gas production and servicing companies throughout North America. Followed closely by well servicing contractors, government agencies, financial institutions and market analysts, the report is a key indicator of oil and gas production.

Its findings echo those of the Council’s monthly jobs report, which shows the oilfield services and equipment sector lost more than 100,000 jobs at the height of the pandemic before restoring approximately 28,000 positions.

The rig count report includes four status categories for rigs:

  • Active — Crewed and worked every day during the month.
  • Available — A rig that has a crew and is ready to work but is not working.
  • Idle — A rig that’s available for work in less than 48 hours, does not require spending of more than $50,000 to activate, and does not have a crew currently assigned.
  • Stacked — A rig that does not have a crew assigned and could not be put to work without repairs and additional equipment costing more than $50,000.

For additional information or questions about the report, contact Council Vice President Kenny Jordan.


Kevin Broom, Director Communications and Research, writes about the Council’s sector-specific best practices and leadership. Click here to subscribe to the Council’s newsletter, which highlights industry practices, workforce development, Council activities and more.
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