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Oil Rig Count Jumps As WTI Moves Back Above $60

Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States increased by 9 this week. The total number of active oil and gas rigs in the U.S. is now at 411—still 361 fewer than this time last year.

The oil rig count increased by 9 this week, and the number of gas rigs stayed the same. The number of miscellaneous rigs also remained unchanged.

The EIA’s estimate for oil production in the United States for the week ending March 12 stayed the same this week at 10.9 million barrels, after a sharp increase the week before as more production was brought back online following the Texas Freeze.

Canada’s overall rig count decreased this week by 24. Oil and gas rigs in Canada are now at 92 active rigs and down 6 year on year. 

The Permian basin saw an increase this week in the number of rigs. The Permian’s total rig count rose by 4, bringing the total active rigs in the Permian to 216, or 189 below this time last year.

The Frac Spread Count provided by Primary Vision estimates that the number of completion crews has risen for the fourth week in a row for week ending March 19, to 195--a level not seen since April 2020.

WTI and Brent had a rocky week this week, with both benchmarks trading sharply down as a new wave of concern regarding oil demand crept into the market. Lockdowns in Europe, vaccine safety concerns, and growing oil stocks in the United States all weighed on oil prices, dragging them down nearly 9% on Thursday. Oil prices rallied somewhat on Friday but failed to reach pre-Thursday levels. 

Around noon, WTI was trading at $60.54, while Brent was trading at $63.74 per barrel.

At 1:15 p.m. EDT, WTI was trading up 2.02% on the day at $61.21. Brent was trading up 1.77% on the day, at $64.40.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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