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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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Massive Drop In U.S. Oil Rig Count Fails To Arrest Price Slide

Fracking operation

The the number of active oil and gas rigs fell sharply in the United States this week according to Baker Hughes, the second large drop in as many weeks, keeping the overall rig count below year-ago for the second week in a row.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the United States fell by 21 according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs falling by 20 to reach 805 and the number of gas rigs falling by 1 to reach 186.

The combined oil and gas rig count is now down year on year for the first time since the end of 2016, with oil seeing just a 20-rig decrease year on year and gas rigs down 9 since this time last year.

At 10:41am EST, WTI was trading down $2.07 (-3.17%) at $63.17—down on the week despite the announcement earlier in the week that the United States would not be extending waivers for the sanctions it levied on Iranian oil. The price cratering came after President Donald Trump announced he had “called up” OPEC to bring the price of gasoline down.

The Brent benchmark was trading down $2.23 (+3.03%) at $71.40, also down week on week.

Despite the sharp drop in the number of active oil rigs in the United States, US crude oil production is still at near all-time highs, and for week ending April 19, US oil production stood at 12.2 million barrels, resuming its previous all-time high first reached for week ending March 29.

Canada held fast with the number of active oil rigs, with the number of gas rigs falling by 3. Canada’s oil rigs are now down 14 year on year, with gas rigs down 8 year on year.

WTI was trading down 3.97% on the day at 1:09pm EST, with Brent down 3.79%, unmoved by the loss of rigs.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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