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Julianne Geiger

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Six Weeks In A Row – Rising Rig Count Pushes Oil Down

Shale Oil Rig

The US oil and gas rig count, as reported by Baker Hughes on Friday, was up one over last week, bringing the total number of oil and gas rigs to 464. The US oil rig count was up 7 from last week, while the gas rig count fell five (mostly Marcellus), with miscellaneous rigs also losing a rig. Eagle Ford and the Permian saw the strongest rig count increases. Eagle ford was up 4 oil rigs, while The Permian added an additional 5 oil rigs.

The Barnett and Niobrara both lost one oil rig over the last week.

Although a total increase of one rig is fairly insignificant, and oil rig increase of seven—and an increase to the oil rig count for six straight weeks—may add further worries to an already shaky oil market.

Ahead of the rig count data, oil futures stabilized earlier today after whiplash-inducing swings were seen throughout the week as anxious investors lose confidence after agencies such as the API and EIA reported varying figures on US stockpiles.

Source: Nasdaq 1

On Tuesday, the API estimated that crude inventories fell by 3.9 million barrels. The following day, the EIA published significantly contradictory information, reporting that crude inventories had increased by 1.4 million barrels—which added to the 1.67 million barrel increase the week prior.

Despite the news that crude stockpiles were still increasing, WTI rose both Wednesday and Thursday as gasoline inventory drew drown 3.3 million barrels.

But inventory is not the only metric that holds sway in today’s volatile oil market.

Last week, the oil and gas rig count, as reported by Baker Hughes, increased by a single rig, with oil rigs up by three and natural gas rigs down by two. Last week was the fifth week in a row to see an increase in the oil rig count, although of the five weeks, last week was the smallest gain. Related: Oil Soars 6 % As Andy Hall Warns Of A “Violent Reversal”

After the rig count data was posted last Friday, WTI, which had opened at $43.14, increased slightly to $43.20, noting the confidence that the rig count had not seen bigger gains.

Despite dropping over 400 oil and gas rigs from a year ago, according to data aggregated by the American Enterprise Institute on Friday, America still managed to export five times more oil to the world in 2015 than it did 20 years ago, peaking in May at 662,000 bbl/d, according to Reuters. However, data shows that US Crude exports dropped by more than 40% in the month of June, according to a 5 August US Census Bureau report, bringing June’s total oil US oil exports to 383,000 bbl/d.

WTI is trading at $41.46 just minutes after the data released.

Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • rjs on August 05 2016 said:
    gas rigs were down 5
  • Gregory Foreman on August 06 2016 said:
    What the market “should be” concerned with and monitoring is the 4,000 or so drilled but uncompleted, ie, DUC’s, that can be fracked and brought on line within a matter of days. The is the real “sword of Damocles” hanging over the oil market. Over 2,000 of these wells are located in two of the most economically feasible plays, Eagle Ford and Permian.
    Concern over the increase or the decrease in the number of drilling rigs is a laughable. The only positive element to such concern is it demonstrates how out of touch with reality such “oil elements” are. To the best of my knowledge, their isn’t even a metric to analyze, monitor, determine and postulate the net effect production would have on the oil market.
  • Belinda on August 06 2016 said:
    It is just crazy that API reports oil stockpile down 3.9 million when EIA reports an increase of 1.4 million. My understanding is this information comes from the same resources for both reports.

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