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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

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Oil Prices Rise Despite Climbing Rig Count

Baker Hughes reported another 6-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week.

The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 990, which is an addition of 201 rigs year over year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by 4 this week, for a total of 800 active oil wells in the U.S.—a figure that is 169 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs rose by 1 this week, and now stands at 189; 32 rigs above this week last year.

The oil and gas rig count in the United States has increased by 66 in 2018.

Canada continued its severe losing streak, with a decrease of 54 oil and gas rigs on top of last week’s loss of 29 oil and gas rigs. Canada now has 57 fewer rigs than it did a year ago.

Oil prices managed to climb this last week and were up today without any clear catalyst. What is clear is that while the threat of steel tariffs and strong U.S. crude oil production, which rose again in the week ending March 09 to 10.381 million bpd, seems to be limiting gains, there are insufficient catalysts to bring oil prices down.

At 12:28 pm EST, the price of a WTI barrel was resilient, trading up $0.98 (+1.60%) to $61.84—a ~$.30 increase over last week’s prices. The Brent barrel was also trading up on the day, by $0.84 (1.29%) at $65.78—an increase of about $0.40 over last week’s level.

At 1:07pm EST, both benchmarks had gained ground, with WTI trading at $62.29 (+$1.10) and Brent trading at $65.88 (+$0.93).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Johnny on March 16 2018 said:
    Oil stock build is less than expected for 1Q and will be drained very easily in next quarter.1Q traditionally is not good for oil.My expectations for this part of year was much more worse.Venezuela oil disaster is good for others producers.
  • dsr on March 16 2018 said:
    Permian oil rig count is the same number as Feb 2. A few additions to Williston are meaningless.
  • Neil Dusseault on March 16 2018 said:
    So, (and not to purposefully quote from another source on this site), but the "leader is business news" has a similar article which states that the sudden rise is due to tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran...Saudi's Mohammed bin Salman is going to appear on 60 Minutes this Sunday and will be in Washington on Tuesday. MBS says that KSA will obtain a nuclear bomb if Iran does, and Iran's response is that he is crazy.

    However, others state that oil is on the rise today due to short-covering for the week. I just have one question then: How come there is always such a thing as short-covering but there is never, ever "long-covering"?
  • John Brown on March 16 2018 said:
    You really have to hand it to the oil industry, including the support industries that have their hand in the oil markets like Goldman Sachs, Banks, etc. They do a good job manipulating the price of oil up even when the facts show the price should be falling.
  • Mamdouh G Salameh on March 16 2018 said:
    The reason oil prices continue to rise despite climbing rig count is because the global oil market no longer believes claims by the EIA about rising US oil production and builds in US oil and gasoline inventories.

    What is really pushing prices up as I have been saying for ages, is a robust global oil demand, accelerating global economy and a virtual re-balancing of the oil market. To this could be added the probability that the OPEC/non-OPEC Production cut agreement is going to be extended beyond 2018 but in a different format to reflect changes in the market and with a permanent mechanism that could respond to either tightening in the oil market or a build in global oil inventories.

    Dr Mamdouh G Salameh
    International Oil Economist
    Visiting Professor of Energy Economics at ESCP Europe Business School, London
  • Joe on March 19 2018 said:
    “Canada continued it’s severe losing streak”? It’s break up!
    The ground is thawing and the rigs can’t move. Happens every year.

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