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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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Oil Prices Continue To Climb As Pace Of Drilling Continues To Slow

The total number of active drilling rigs in the United States fell by 5 again this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published Friday.

The total rig count fell to 659 this week. So far this year, Baker Hughes has estimated a loss of 120 active drilling rigs. This week’s count is 416 fewer rigs than the rig count at the beginning of 2019 prior to the pandemic.

The number of oil rigs declined by 4 this week to 525, down by 96 so far in 2023. The number of gas rigs stayed the same at 128, a loss of 28 active gas rigs from the start of the year. Miscellaneous rigs lost 1 rig this last week.

The rig count in the Permian Basin slipped by 5 rigs—18 rigs below this same time last year. The rig count in the Eagle Ford fell by 1, and is now 18 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 this week. The frac spread count slipped to 268 in the week ending July 28, down from 274 in the week prior. The frac spread count is 10 higher than where it started the year.

Crude oil production levels in the United States stayed at 12.2 million bpd in the week ending July 28, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates—on par with production levels at the beginning of the year. U.S. production levels are now up 100,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 11:19 a.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.50 (+0.61%) on the day at $82.05—up more than $2 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.65 (+0.76%) at $85.79 per barrel on the day—up about $1 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com


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