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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

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No Respite For Oil Prices As U.S. Rig Count Gains, Canada Adds 27 Rigs

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States rose again this week by 6—making 22 weeks of gains, continuing the longest growth streak in oil and gas rig increases since at least 1987, which is the earliest date that Baker Hughes Excel data is available.

Last week, both the US and Canada saw significant increases in the number of active oil and gas rigs—11 in the US and 33 in Canada. This week, Canada saw another large growth spurt, adding 27 rigs.

The number of oil rigs in operation increased by 6, while gas rigs increased by 1. Miscellaneous rigs decreased by 1 to 0. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 933 rigs, which is 509 rigs over a year ago today, when oil prices were significantly higher than they were today.

(Click to enlarge)

Prices were up slightly on Friday morning after a rather horrific week, but prices still put major benchmarks squarely in the realm of the longest losing streak since 2015. WTI was trading up 0.85% at $44.84 at 9:11am EST, with Brent trading up 1.11% at $47.44—both benchmarks over a dollar lower than last week’s levels, and lower than prices were prior to the OPEC deal was solidified in November. Related: How A $200,000 Well Could Drastically Change The Oil Industry

The hotspot Permian basin, which has seen more than a 30-percent increase in the number of active oil and gas rigs over the last 20-something weeks, saw no net increase in oil and gas rigs, while the Williston basin added 3 rigs. Still, the Permian basin boasts 222 rigs more than this time last year.

The rush of drillers to the Permian basin is causing some concern beyond stealing some of OPEC’s clout—with eight hedge funds pulling more than $400 million in positions out of 10 oil and gas companies that are active in the Permian, likely concerned that the low-cost increased production from the Permian will lower low prices even further.

At 8 minutes after the hour, WTI started was trading at $44.67, while Brent traded at $47.27.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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