|Longview, Texas (Best Places map)|
Baker Hughes Inc., an American industrial service company, said "the total number of drilling rigs operating last week was up a dozen from a week before to 768," Hedler writes. "It was the eighth consecutive weekly increase, pushing the total to 288 more than a year ago. The monthly averages also show increases, with Baker Hughes data showing Texas averaged 336 rigs in January, up more than 10 percent from a year ago."
"As a proxy for activity in the sector, rig counts are an important indicator for the drilling industry and its suppliers—and are one of the first indicators to show a recovery is in the works," Hedler writes. Bob Davis Jr., a wholesaler who sells valves and other devices to producers, "said more rigs are going up in West Texas, while much of the newer activity in the Longview area and Louisiana is drilling for natural gas."
"Another barometer showing an industry uptick is the Texas Petro Index, which increased for a second straight month in January to 153.3," Hedler writes. "That was up from an index of 150.6 in December and 148.0 in November. Still, the January figure was about 16 percent less than in January 2016 and about 51 percent lower than the peak index of 313.5 calculated in November 2014."