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Oil Rig Count Inches Higher As WTI Holds Below $70

The total number of total active drilling rigs in the United States rose by 4 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published on Friday.

The total rig count rose to 758 this week-88 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2022 and 317 rigs lower than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Oil rigs in the United States increased by 4 this week, to 593. Gas rigs stayed the same at 162. Miscellaneous rigs also stayed the same.

The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 3, on top of last week's 7-rig increase. Rigs in the Eagle Ford stayed the same.

Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells-a more frugal use of finances than drilling new wells-rose dramatically in the week ending March 17, by 14 crews to 290. This is 18 more than a month ago, and 24 more than a year ago.

Crude oil production in the United States rose by 100,000 bpd in the week ending March 17, to 12.3 million bpd, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates. U.S. production levels are up 700,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:47 p.m. ET, the WTI benchmark was trading down $1.28 (-1.83%) on the day at $68.68, but up more than $2 per barrel from this time last week as market panic regarding a possible bank collapse contagion eased from the height of the panic.

The Brent benchmark was trading down $1.46 (-1.92%) at $74.45 per barrel on the day, but up more than $2 per barrel from this time last Friday.

WTI was trading at $69.13 minutes after the data release, down 1.19% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More