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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

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Rig Count Slides As U.S. Oil Output Remains At All-Time High

The the number of active oil and gas rigs fell sharply in the United States this week according to Baker Hughes, despite high US oil production for the week ending March 1.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs fell by 11 rigs­, according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs falling by 9 to reach 834 and the number of gas rigs falling by 2 to reach 193.

The oil and gas rig count is now just 43 up from this time last year, 38 of which is in oil rigs.

Oil prices were trading sharply down early on Friday as the reality of continued increased oil production from the United States sets in amid a bleak outlook for economic growth led mainly from decreased imports to and exports from China. Both WTI and Brent fell by more than 3 percent, despite the bullish news that OPEC is cutting more production than had previously agreed to.

WTI was trading down $1.84 (-3.25%) at $54.92, while Brent was trading down $2.03 (-3.06%) at $64.27 at 9:31am EST—both benchmarks trading down more than $1 week on week as well at that time.

US crude oil production for week ending March 1 was 12.1 million bpd—the new record set the week prior, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Canada’s oil and gas rigs saw an even bigger decrease in the number rigs this week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count fell by 22 and is now 189, which is 84 fewer rigs than this time last year.

By 1:06pm EDT, WTI was trading down 2.47% (-$1.40) at $55.26 on the day. Brent crude was trading down 2.22% (-$1.47) at $64.83 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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