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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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Rig Count Inches Higher As Oil Prices Stabilize

gas rig

Baker Hughes reported a 3-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week.

The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 978, which is an addition of 224 rigs year over year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by a single rig this week, and now stands at 799, or 197 over this time last year. The number of gas rigs, which rose by 2 this week, now stands at 179, or 28 rigs above this week last year.

Canada lost 12 rigs this week; 9 for oil and 3 for gas.

At 12:36 pm EST, the price of a WTI barrel was trading up $0.78 (+1.24%) to $63.55. The Brent barrel trading up $0.74 (+1.12%) to $66.85—both benchmarks up from last week.

Oil prices dipped a couple of weeks ago after several weeks of EIA reporting higher crude oil inventories, and an updated IEA forecast that warned that a new glut may be coming on the back of robust US crude oil production. US crude oil production fell in the week ending February 16, to 10.270 million bpd—just a hair below last week’s figures—but still the second highest production figure for the US ever. Meanwhile, OPEC continues to sing the praises of its production cut efforts and is quick to point out at every turn that the market is indeed rebalancing.

By basin, Cana Woodford and the Permian each added two rigs, while DJ-Niobrara, Haynesville, Utica, and Williston each gained one rig. The Marcellus basin lost two rigs. The Permian basin now has 129 more active rigs than it did a year ago—representing more than 50% of the total annual increase in rigs.

At 1:07pm EST, WTI was trading at $63.63 (+$0.86) with Brent trading at $66.92 (+$0.81).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on February 23 2018 said:
    U.S. producers should be giddy. Even with a glut of oil sloshing around, and news that U.S. production is soaring far beyond forecast the prices of WTI barely dipped under $60 and appears to be ending the week rounded off at $64. Meanwhile I read that Saudi Arabia with its Aramco IPO wants $70 plus a barrel oil, and they have the means of pushing the price up if they are willing to idle a couple of million more BPD of production. That means U.S. producers can count on WTI over $60 and probably $65 to $70 for the next year no matter how much they produce. So we can likely expect more surprises with U.S. production hitting 11million BPD by mid 2018, and 13 million by end of 2019. Meanwhile the increased production should provide opportunities to figure out how to lower the cost of production more, and get more oil to market even faster. Oil prices at $70 also give heavily subsidized renewables a break and more time to lower cost, and grab more market share. Things can always change fast but right now it looks like a win-win situation for everybody. What it means 2 or 3 years in the future is hard to say, but more production and lowering cost of production in the USA can only be good.
  • Kamamura on February 24 2018 said:
    I wonder how long will this shale oil fairy tale keep on floating.

    So far, the only thing the shale producers have been able to produce in abundance is debt, burning through CAPEX like crazy, as Chanos correctly pointed out. Oh yes, debt, and limited amounts of very inefficiently obtained oil, which will become even more expensive, now that the sweetspots are gone.

    I don't know why still fantasizing about a "glut", but the reality of physical reserves is that there is a sustained draw an them for several months now. That means more physical barrels are consumed than produced.

    And with the under-invested sector, production declies all over the cheaper, mature fields and miniscule new discoveries, the result is clear - long term, the price will go up.

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