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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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U.S. Oil Rig Count Falls As Gas Rig Count Soars

Fracking rig

Baker Hughes reported another 3-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week.

The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 984, which is an addition of 216 rigs year over year.

Despite the overall increase, the number of oil rigs in the United States decreased by 4 this week, for a total of 796 active oil wells in the US—a figure that is 179 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs rose by 7 this week, and now stands at 188; 37 rigs above this week last year.

The oil and gas rig count in the United States has increased by 60 in 2018.

Canada continued its losing streak, with a decrease of 29 oil and gas rigs for the week. Canada now has fewer rigs than it did a year ago.

Despite multiple bearish events this week, oil prices managed to climb, buoyed in part on Friday by positive job reports and reports about a possible meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

Neither the threat of steel tariffs—which some analysts opine could increase pipeline and other oil infrastructure costs—nor US crude oil production, which rose again in the week ending March 2nd to 10.369 million bpd, according to the EIA were able to keep oil prices down.

At 11:45 am EST, the price of a WTI barrel was resilient, trading up $1.72 (+2.86%) to $61.84—a significant increase from last week’s prices. The Brent barrel was also trading up on the day, by $1.76 (+2.77%) to $65.37.

Alaska, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Utah all lost rigs this week, with Texas adding 7 rigs for a total of 490 active rigs—an increase of 98 over this time last year.

At 1:09pm EST, both benchmarks had lost some ground, with WTI trading at $61.77 (+$1.65) and Brent trading at $65.13 (+$1.52).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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