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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

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Decline In U.S. Rig Count Sends WTI Higher

The the number of active oil and gas rigs fell in the United States this week according to Baker Hughes.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs fell by 3 according to the report with the number of active oil rigs gaining 2 to reach 833 and the number of gas rigs falling 5 to reach 189.

The oil and gas rig count is now just 14 up from this time last year, with oil seeing just a 18-rig increase year on year, gas rigs down on the year by 3, and miscellaneous rigs seeing a 1-rig decrease for the year.

Oil prices were trading significantly up earlier on Friday leading up to the data release as bullish factors excited the market after a massive shakeup deal between Chevron and Exxon was announced, and on tightening supply signals from Libya, Algeria, and Venezuela.

WTI was trading up $0.60 (+0.94%) at $64.18—inching closer to $70 per barrel that some analysts predict would hurt demand. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.67 (+0.95%) at $71.50 at 12:22pm EST, comfortably over the $70 threshold. Prices for both represent a significant gain week on week.

US crude oil production for week ending April 5 was 12.2 million barrels for the second week in a row.

Canada, too, saw a decline in the number of active rigs this week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count fell by 2 after falling by 20 last week, and is now just 66, which is 36 fewer rigs than this time last year as Canada’s oil industry continues to face steep uphill battles over its constrained pipeline capacity that is necessary to get its heavy crude to market along with production caps instituted to keep Western Canadian Select prices from falling further.

By 1:06pm EDT, WTI was trading up 0.82% (+$0.52) at $64.10 on the day. Brent crude was trading up 0.99% (+$0.70) at $71.53 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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