Coming off of what turned out to be a rather rocky morning for oil prices, U.S. drillers added 5-rigs to the number of oil and gas rigs this week, according to Baker Hughes. The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 1013, which is an addition of 156 rigs year over year.
The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by 5 this week, for a total of 820 active oil wells in the U.S.—a figure that is 132 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs stayed the same this week, still at 192; 25 rigs above this week last year.
While U.S. drillers seem determined to add rigs, Canada—which is suffering from a rather tumultuous war in its country over pipeline infrastructure and a rather significant discount in its Western Canadian Select (WCS) benchmark—continues to hemorrhage rigs, losing 9 more oil and gas rigs this week, after shedding hundreds of rigs in the in the last couple of months. At 93 total rigs, Canada now has 6 fewer rigs than it did a year ago.
Oil prices were trading down on Friday after President Donald Trump took a swing at OPEC’s price manipulation via Twitter.
“Looks like OPEC is at it again. With record amounts of Oil all over the place, including the fully loaded ships at sea, Oil prices are artificially Very High! No good and will not be accepted!” The tweet read. WTI had just come off end-2014 highs on Thursday¬—a result of the of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC) of the OPEC and non-OPEC oil producers yesterday, which found that oil inventories in developed economies had dropped to just 12 million barrels over the official target of the cuts—the five-year average. Related: Disaster Looms Over Libyan Oil
West Texas Intermediate was trading down $0.06 (-0.09 percent) at $68.27 at 12:37pm EST. The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.10 (-0.14 percent) at $73.68. Both benchmarks are still up week on week.
Aside from the Trump effect, oil price pressures remain from growing U.S. production, which rose again in the week ending April 13, reaching 10.540 million bpd—the eighth build in as many weeks—less than a half million bpd off the 11.0 million bpd forecast that many predict for 2018.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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