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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 Rig Count Rises Despite Omicron Uncertainty

Drilling rig

The number of active drilling rigs in the United States this week rose by 3, according to Baker Hughes.

The total rig count rose to 579—a figure that is 233 up from this time last year. Active rigs are still hundreds less than the 790 active rigs drilling prior to the pandemic.

The U.S. oil rig count rose by 4 to 475 while gas rigs fell by 1 to 104. Miscellaneous rigs held at zero.  

The EIA's estimate for oil production in the United States for the week ending December 10, the last week for which there is data, held at 11.7 million bpd.

Oil production is still more than a million bpd less than pre-pandemic levels, although oil production has been steadily increasing since Hurricane Ida struck the last week of August. Drilling rigs have been slowly but steadily increasing for longer--since the previous September, although production often lags these rig increases.

Canada's overall rig count decreased by 10. Active oil and gas rigs in Canada are now at 167, up 65 on the year. 

The rig count in the Permian Basin increased by 2 this week, with 114 rigs added since last year. The number of rigs in the nation's second most prolific basin, the Eagle Ford, saw a 2-rig increase in the number of active rigs. The Permian's total rig count is now 286, with 44 total in the Eagle Ford.

Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, which tracks the number of completion crews finishing off previously drilled wells, shows that completion crews fell by 4 this week to 267 for week ending December 10, for the second dip in a row. The frac count is still up by roughly 130 since the start of the year.

At 11:18 p.m. EDT, oil prices were trending down on the day.  WTI was trading at $70.91—down 2.03% on the day and roughly flat on the week. The Brent benchmark traded at $73.56, down 1.95% on the day and down $1 on the week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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