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Julianne Geiger

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Oil Prices Climb As Oil Rig Count Drops

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States fell this week by 3 rigs as drillers in the United States proceed more cautiously as oil prices fail to sustain any significant increase. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 946 rigs, up 455 rigs from the year prior, with oil rigs in the United States decreasing by 5 and gas rigs increasing by 1.

Oil rigs in the United States now number 763—357 rigs above this time last year.

Canada lost 6 oil rigs this week, with the number of gas rigs holding steady—for a total of 214 oil and gas rigs—93 above the year ago levels.

Prices fell on Friday despite the Energy Information Administration’s Wednesday report that the United States’ crude oil inventory had fallen by 8.9 million barrels of inventory—after last week’s report of a 6.5-million-barrel decline. Thursday’s report that Saudi Arabia’s oil exports had hit a 33-month low—and that it had likely fallen further in July and would continue in August—had also failed to sustainably lift prices.

Barrel prices for WTI is more than $1 lower on the week—for a second week in a row, and .17% down on the day, trading at $47.01 at 11:44am EST. Brent was trading down 0.43% at $51.25, with the spread reaching more than $4 between the two—almost a four-fold increase from a year ago. Related: Russia Claims To Have Invented Alternative To Fracking

The rise in the number of active rigs in the US has slowed in recent weeks, with the 5-week average gain for US oil rig count falling into negative territory, compared to the previous 5-week average gain of 5 rigs. Despite the falling average weekly gain in active US oil rigs, US crude oil production continues to increase, with average production averaging 9.502 million barrels per day for the week ending August 11, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), who now expects US production to reach an average of 9.9 million barrels per day in 2018.

As of 12:10 PM CST, Brent Crude was up 2.98 percent at $52.55 per barrel. Find more crude oil prices on the Oil Price Charts page.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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