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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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Drilling Continues To Disappoint As Oil Prices Climb

The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 1 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

The total rig count fell to 631 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of 148 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 444 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019 prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs stayed the same this week at 512, down by 109 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs fell by 1 to 114, a loss of 42 active gas rigs from the start of the year. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same this week.

The rig count in the Permian Basin fell by 1 this week—23 rigs below this same time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford fell by 2, and is now 21 fewer than this time last year.

Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells (which is cheaper than drilling new wells), fell again this week. The frac spread count fell to 246 in the week ending August 25, down from 256 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 12 fewer than where it started the year.

Crude oil production levels in the United States stayed the same this week, at 12.8 million bpd in the week ending August 25, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates—sitting at the highest production level since 2019. U.S. production levels are now up 700,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 12:25 p.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $1.65 (+1.97%) on the day at $85.28—up roughly $6.50 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading up $1.50 (+1.73%) at $88.33 per barrel on the day—up roughly $5 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com


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  • Mamdouh Salameh on September 02 2023 said:
    This tells us that US shale oil is a spent force with the lucrative and cheap-to-produce spots exhausted long time ago.

    Still, this won’t stop the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) continuing to hype about shale oil production and claiming production of 12.8 million barrels a day (mbd).

    Even with this hype, the US still imports almost 8.0 mbd being the difference between its current US crude demand of 20.47 mbd and claimed production of 12.8 mbd.

    The EIA tends to bury its head in the sand like an ostrich thinking the world may forget about its hype but to no avail.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Global Energy Expert

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