More drilling rigs were put into action this week across Western Canada — with 52 per cent of the fleet now active.

According to Rig Locator, there were 324 active rigs Friday morning in the four western provinces (299 rigs down), up from 301 drilling rigs at work at the close of last week (48 per cent of the fleet active).

For the same week a year ago, 312 rigs were active with 339 down (48 per cent active rate).

Crescent Point Energy Corp. had 26 rigs at work Friday morning, to lead the pack.

Four other producers are tightly grouped in terms of the number of rigs employed. Cenovus Energy Inc. had 14 active rigs today, while Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Encana Corporation each had 13 rigs at work and Tourmaline Oil Corp. had 12.

Rig counts by province

Alberta was the destination for most of the new rigs put into service this week.

There were 221 rigs at work in the province this morning (51 per cent of the fleet was active), up from 204 at the close of last week.

In Saskatchewan, there were 66 rigs at work today compared to 63 last Friday, while B.C.’s rig count lifted to 31 today from 28 a week ago.

In Manitoba, operators have six rigs at work, even with six a week ago.

Active rigs on the Rig Locator website are defined as rigs that are drilling, rigging up or moving. (Note: This data differs from the rig counts tracked by the Canadian Association of Oilwell Drilling Contractors, which bases its utilization rates on whether rigs are drilling, which it defines as spud to rig release, or down.)