The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States rose again this week by 8—marking 23 weeks of gains and continuing to press upon battered markets who are growing increasingly dissatisfied with OPEC’s production cut efforts to rebalance the supply and demand equation.
The number of oil rigs in operation increased by 11, while gas rigs decreased by 3. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 941 rigs, which is 520 rigs over a year ago today, when oil prices were significantly higher than they were today.
Over the last two weeks, Canada saw significant gains in the number of active oil and gas rigs. This week, Canada saw another large growth spurt, adding 11 rigs.
Prices were up slightly on Friday morning, after a rather horrific week—repeating last weeks’ trend—with WTI trading up 0.56% at $42.98, and Brent crude up .64% at $45.51 at 12:38pm EST. Both benchmarks are almost $2 lower than last week’s prices, and significantly lower than prices were before OPEC agreed to monkey around with the market by taking 1.2 million barrels of crude oil off the table daily. Related: Macquarie: OPEC Deal To Collapse In 2018
Many see the increase in the number of US rigs despite weeks of price drops of both WTI and Brent benchmarks as a sign of US shale’s resolve in the face of a low-priced oil market. Other see it as a 3- to 6-month lag between prices and active rigs.
By state, Oklahoma added 5 rigs this week, with North Dakota coming in second adding 3 rigs. Louisiana added 2 rigs, and California and Colorado added one each. Alaska lost 2 rigs this week, and New Mexico and Utah lost one as well.
At 8 minutes after the hour, the news was not yet reflecting on oil prices, with WTI trading at $43.08, with Brent trading at $45.57.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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