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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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Oil Rig Count Hits A 17-Month High

Natural gas rig Marcellus

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States increased on Friday by 2. Both benchmarks were trading up earlier on Friday on reports of an evacuation of Libya’s oil port earlier in the day, assuaging, albeit temporary, market fears that OPEC’s surprising compliance of 90 percent may offset by nonparticipants’ production increases—including Libya. Further pushing up oil prices earlier in the day was the falling dollar.

The total number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States is now 756, according to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, which is 267 rigs above the rig count a year ago.

The number of oil rigs increased this week by 7, up from 602 last week to 609 this week. This week marks the seventh week in a row of increases to the number of active oil rigs in the United States—the most active oil rigs since October 02, 2015.

Oil rigs have increased by 132 since the OPEC agreement was announced on November 30, as US drillers continue to ramp up while OPEC continues to hold its members largely to specified production caps.

(Click to enlarge)

The number of gas rigs declined by 5 this week, and now stand at 146, sliding for the second week, after a long running fourteen-week streak of no losses.

In Canada, the rig count declined by 6 to 335—206 rigs more than this time last year.

At noon EST WTI was trading up 1.1% at $53.19 per barrel—around $1.00 lower than last Friday’s pre-rig count price. The Brent crude benchmark was trading up 1.02% at $55.64—almost $.50 below the price point last Friday. Both benchmarks began to slide slightly after the count was released, with WTI trading at $53.16 and Brent trading at $55.62.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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