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U.S. Rig Count Flat As Canadian Drillers Add 100+ Rigs In Winter Season

Baker Hughes reported no change to the number of active oil and gas in the United States this week.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs is holding steady at 1,075 according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs decreasing by 4 to reach 873 and the number of gas rigs increasing by 4 to reach 202.

The oil and gas rig count is now 136 up from this time last year, 121 of which is in oil rigs.

WTI prices were down on Friday despite newfound hopes that trade talks between China and the United States will prove fruitful soon.

At 12:25pm EDT, the WTI benchmark was trading down $0.75 (-1.43%) at $51.94—up week on week, with Brent crude trading down $0.87 (-1.41%) at $60.81 per barrel—also up week on week. Today’s price decline marks the end to a more than week-long uptrend for prices that reached a five-week high, after a particularly volatile 2018, even by oil industry’s standards.

Canada’s oil and gas rigs increased by 108 rigs this week—a rather abrupt halt to the 4-week losing streak that saw the energy-rich but infrastructure-poor country lose about 100 rigs over the last four weeks as drillers are gearing up for winter season. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count is now 184, which is 92 fewer rigs than this time last year, with a 83-rig increase for oil rigs, and a 25-rig increase for gas rigs for the week. Canada’s falling rig count is likely due in part to a new mandate that called for the country to collectively shave 300,000 bpd off its crude oil production figures.

The EIA’s estimates for US production for the week ending January 4 has the United States holding fast at an average rate of 11.7 million bpd­ for the week.

By 1:07pm EDT, WTI had decreased by 1.73% (-$0.91) at $51.68 on the day. Brent crude was trading down 1.75% (-$1.08) at $60.60 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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