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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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Rig Count Plunge Set To Boost Oil & Gas Prices

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States took a steep dive this week, dipping 15 rigs—the third straight weekly loss.

The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 913 rigs, up 360 rigs from the year prior, with the number of oil rigs in the United States decreasing by 7 this week and the number of natural gas rigs decreasing by 8.

The oil rig count now stands 293 above the count one year ago, shedding a total of 32 oil rigs in the last ten weeks. Natural gas rigs have fallen four rigs in the last 10 weeks, but the trendline for both types of rigs is distinctly downward.

(Click to enlarge)

The spot price for WTI fell on Friday despite the disturbance in Iraq over the Kurdish referendum that sparked controversy over oil production and exports, and despite US and Iran tensions over sanctions that calls into question Iran’s ability to negotiate oil contracts with foreign investors. Oil prices seem stuck in a rut, stubbornly on track to end in a small loss for the week, even as EIA’s Wednesday’s report showed crude oil inventories had shed 5.7 million barrels for the week ending October 13.

At 12:43pm EST on Friday, WTI was trading down $0.18 (-0.35%) at $51.33—pennies below the WTI price of $51.35 at noon last Friday. Brent crude was trading down today by $0.19 (-0.33%) on the day at $57.04—$.08 under last week’s price. Related: Are Combustion Engines Reaching Peak Demand?

The biggest losers last week by basin were the Eagle Ford (-6) and Barnett (-4). This week, it’s the Permian (-6) and Haynesville (-3) basins that took the brunt of the cuts.

US crude oil production slipped by almost a million barrels daily for the week ending October 13, coming in at 8.406 million barrels per day—down significantly from the week’s prior 9.480 million barrels per day.

At 14 minutes after the hour, WTI had regained some ground at $51.46, with Brent crude trading at $57.28.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Leave a comment
  • Joan Kandi on October 20 2017 said:
    Well cannibalizing is plaguing the patch. If you think about it, it is not that difficult to get oil out of a rock 4k meters underground.
  • Disgruntled on October 20 2017 said:
    8.406 mmbopd production? Hmmm. Hurricane Nate makes landfall around 10/7. Shouldn't most of the Gulf production been back on for the week ended 10/13? I know it isn't a matter of flipping a switch, but Gulf production wasn't down that much for Hurricane Harvey [8,781 mmbopd for the storm week] and it was a much larger, longer duration storm. Is the EIA using a hurricane to rectify some bad production reporting?
  • Kr55 on October 21 2017 said:
    It's weird. Keep hearing from "experts" that producers hedging at $52 for 2018 is going to bring a wave of production. But, they all hedged at $55+ for 2017 and oil is already around $52 and activity has totally stalled.
  • Ol on October 21 2017 said:
    John Kandi. Because you don't know the steps involved, don't assume they dont exist.
  • Boat on October 26 2017 said:
    According to the EIA's Drilling Productivity Report, completed wells are on the rise. Also on the rise are drilled but uncompleted wells. This data gives a better idea of what is going on rather than drilling rig counts.

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