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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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Modest Rig Count Gain Caps Oil Prices

Baker Hughes reported modest rise in the number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States this week.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs rose by 9 rigs, according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs increasing by 10 to reach 862 and the number of gas rigs decreasing by 1 to reach 197.

The oil and gas rig count is now 112 up from this time last year, 103 of which is in oil rigs.

WTI prices were trading up earlier on Friday as the crisis in oil-rich Venezuela deepens as opposition leader Juan Guaidó seeks to grab power from current president Nicolas Maduro, garnering him a backing from the United States to the ire of Maduro. Gains were capped, however, by the previous day’s EIA report that showed a major buildup in crude oil inventories for the week at 8 million barrels, bringing the total to 9% above seasonal limits.

At 12:16pm EST, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.52 (+0.99%) at $53.65—nearly flat week on week, with Brent crude trading up $0.40 (+0.65%) at $61.49 per barrel—down nearly $1 per barrel on the week.  

Canada’s oil and gas rigs increased by 23 rigs this week, after climbing by 25 rigs last week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count is now 232, which is 106 fewer rigs than this time last year.

The EIA’s estimates for US production for the week ending January 18 shows an increase at an average rate of 11.9 million bpd­—a record for the US—for the second week in a row..

By 1:06pm EDT, WTI had increased by 0.87% (+$0.46) at $53.59 on the day. Brent crude was trading up 0.61% (+$0.37) at $61.46 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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