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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 Ease As U.S. Rig Count Jumps

  • The number of total active drilling rigs in the United States rose by 13 this week.
  • U.S. oil rig count rises by 8 rigs.
  • The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 6 this week.

The number of total active drilling rigs in the United States rose by 13 this week as WTI trades near $109 per barrel.

The total rig count rose to 663 this week, while U.S. producers continue to prioritize fiscal discipline over risky investments to boost oil production.

Baker Hughes reported this week that the total active rig figure—oil, gas, and miscellaneous—is 261 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2021.

Oil rigs rose by 8 to 527, while gas rigs were up by 5 to 135. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 1.

While drilling activity has picked up in the United States over the last few months, U.S. production—a corollary to drilling rigs but with months of lag—has not. U.S. weekly production of crude oil stayed the same for the fifth week in a row at 11.6 million bpd, according to the latest Energy Information Administration for the week ending March 4.

The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 6 this week, bringing the total rig count in the Permian basin to 316.

Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, which tracks the number of completion crews finishing off previously drilled wells, shows that the frac spread fell by 10 to 280 in the week ending March 4th.

At 12:25 p.m. EST, oil prices were trending up on the day after falling on Thursday when the UAE suggested that it would support an OPEC production increase. The UAE later watered down its statement saying that it fully supported the OPEC alliance. Prices also received upward pressure from the Iran nuclear deal that was suspended on Friday—stripping away some of the hope that the market was holding onto regarding increased oil production from Iran.

At that time, WTI was trading at $109.10 per barrel—up 2.91% on the day but down $3 per barrel on the week. The Brent benchmark traded at $112 per barrel at that time, up 2.42% on the day but down nearly $2 per barrel on the week.  

Prices began to ease after the data release.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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