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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

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Oil Rig Count Rises Despite Ballooning Shale Debt

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States fell this week by 5 rigs, but the amount of oil rigs increased as drillers in the United States continue to add rigs in defiance of low oil prices, albeit at a slower rate. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 949 rigs, up 468 rigs from the year prior, with oil rigs in the United States increasing by 3 and gas rigs declining by 8.

Oil rigs in the United States now number 768—372 rigs above this time last year.

Canada, which lost 3 oil and gas rigs last week, gained three this week—all three oil—for a total of 220 oil and gas rigs—94 above the year ago levels.

Prices fell on Thursday and Friday as the weak stock market and word of OPEC’s faltering compliance battered the unstable oil market. Despite Friday’s jawboning from Saudi Arabia on the prospects of OPEC either extending or deepening its production cuts that it agreed to last November—and despite the International Energy Administration’s projections of increased crude oil demand growth for 2018, prices were unable to rally.

Barrel prices for WTI is more than $1 lower on the week, and .51% down on the day, trading at $48.34 at 12:06pm EST. Brent was trading down 0.5% at $51.64—down from $52.39 the week prior. Related: China Prepares For A Natural Gas Import Boom

The rise in the number of active rigs in the US has slowed in recent weeks, but US crude oil production is not, with average production averaging 9.42 million barrels per day for the week ending August 04, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), who now expects US production to reach an average of 9.9 million barrels per day in 2018.

The Permian basin lost two rigs this week, and Arkoma Woodford and Eagle Ford also saw declines to the rig count. Despite this week’s loss, the Permian basin still has 188 rigs more than last year. Cana Woodford’s count increased by 3 rigs this week.

At 14 minutes after the hour, WTI was trading at $48.47 with Brent crude trading at $51.75.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Frank the Tank on August 12 2017 said:
    The Saudis will be manipulating oil prices for the next 12 months in an effort to "sell high" on an Aramco IPO. Why not ride that wave while prices are artificially inflated?

    This is gonna be a hot mess when it all unwinds in 2020-22

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