Energy investors have always utilized the U.S. rig count as both a leading and concurrent indicator for general activity across the entire oilfield services supply chain (including pressure pumpers, manufacturers, etc.). While the rig count indicator is not as highly correlated to these other non-drilling related activities as maybe 20 years ago, it is still the best real-time indicator of overall oilfield activity. Following a general up-trend in oil prices over the past three quarters, the U.S. rig count has grown (on average) by a stout ~20 rigs per month (or about 2% per month) in 2018. Year to date, the U.S. rig count is up a sharp 13% from year end levels. Until the past few weeks, this growth has been fairly consistent through the year in conjunction with rising oil prices.