The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States increased on Friday by 17, nearly erasing earlier gains to both WTI and Brent crude oil benchmarks. Both benchmarks were trading up early on Friday on the back of geopolitical tensions between Iran and the United States over the threat of fresh sanctions.
The total number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States is now 729, according to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, which is 158 rigs above the rig count a year ago.
This week marks the largest four-week gain to the number of oil rigs (+54) since April 2014 (+56).
All of this week’s gains were oil rig gains, which were up from 566 last week to 583 this week. The number of active oil rigs in the United States is now the highest since October 2015.
Oil rigs have increased by 106 since the OPEC agreement was announced on November 30.
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The number of gas rigs stayed the same this week at 145 ending 12 straight weeks of increases.
Cana Woodford saw the largest increase by basin for a total of 7 rigs gained, with the Permian gaining 4 and Eagle Ford 2. The Granite Walsh Basin and Haynesville both lost rigs.
After this week’s 4-rig gain, the Permian now has 295 oil and gas rigs—115 rigs more than the same week last year. These figures continue the trend of the redistribution of rigs by basin—while three weeks ago the Permian Basin accounted for 41% of all active oil and gas rigs in the United States, it now accounts for 51%. And while the Eagle Ford Basin accounted for 14% three weeks ago, it now accounts for only 10%.
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At 12:04 pm WTI was trading up .22% at $53.66, with the Brent Crude benchmark trading up .28% at $56.72.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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