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Oil Prices Stable On Flat Oil Rig Count

The number of active oil and gas rigs rose this week, according to Baker Hughes data, increasing by 1 rig, for a total of 931 rigs currently in operation in the United States—278 rigs above this time last year.

The number of oil rigs in the U.S. stayed the same, while the number of gas rigs climbed by 1. The number of oil rigs stands at 747 versus 523 a year ago. The number of gas rigs in the U.S. now stands at 184, up from 129 a year ago.

For Canada’s part, the number of oil and gas rigs fell hard, by 28 rigs, with gas and oil rigs each falling by 14.

At 1:00pm EST, the price of a WTI barrel was down $0.11 (+0.19 percent) to $58.25, while the Brent barrel was trading up $0.16 (-0.11 percent) to $64.50. Prices had come off a previous years-ago high earlier on Friday, as rising US output and news surfaced that Forties will be back up and running at normal capacity in early January.

The hotspot Permian Basin gained one rig for the week, but things are looking up for the Permian, as Kinder Morgan announced on Thursday that, with its partners, it will go ahead with its $1.7 billion gas pipeline project that will alleviate existing bottlenecks that prevent more gas from flowing out of the basin.

US crude oil production continues to climb a weekly basis, placing further pressure on prices. U.S. crude oil production for the week ending December 15 was 9.789 million barrels per day—another record for 2017, and the ninth straight weekly increase.

At 1:06pm EST, WTI was trading at $58.26 with Brent trading at $64.49. 

You can find WTI, Brent and many more oil prices on the Oil Price Charts page.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Wayne Potter on December 22 2017 said:
    The market is tightening that is fact. The only thing keeping prices down is market manipulation by net importing nations. The fear of inflation after a 3 year hiatus is keeping .gov bean counters up at night plotting their next move maybe with a tax break or something.

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