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U.S., Canadian Rig Count Plunges As Oil Retreats

The the number of active oil and gas rigs fell sharply in the United States this week according to Baker Hughes, despite US oil production resuming highs this week that were previously reached in late February.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs fell by 10 rigs­ according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs falling by 9 to reach 824 and the number of gas rigs falling by 1 to 192.

The oil and gas rig count is now just 21 up from this time last year, 20 of which is in oil rigs.

Oil prices were trading down earlier on Friday leading up to the data release despite strong bullish factors for oil with the Energy Information Administration reporting a huge draw in crude oil inventories earlier in the week—the biggest draw since July.  Analysts are blaming the price drop on the dollar’s gain, although fears of slowing economic growth worldwide is also causing some traders to tread lightly in the oil arena, not to mention the US/China trade spat which is still ongoing.

WTI was trading down $1.41(-2.35%) at $58.57, while Brent was trading down $1.46 (-2.16%) at $66.21 at 12:46pm EST. While the loss for the day is sharp, both benchmarks are not far off last week’s Friday levels. Related: A Paradigm Shift In The Permian

US crude oil production for week ending March 15 was 12.1 million bpd—resuming the high hit for the first time last month. .

Canada’s oil and gas rigs saw an even more shocking decrease in the number rigs this week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count fell by 56 and is now 105, which is 56 fewer rigs than this time last year as Canada’s oil industry continues to face steep uphill battles over its constrained pipeline capacity that is necessary to get its heavy crude to market.

By 1:08pm EDT, WTI was trading down 2.45% (-$1.47) at $58.51 on the day. Brent crude was trading down 2.25% (-$1.52) at $66.15 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Kevin Morris on March 22 2019 said:
    Wouldn't the most likely reason the rig count dropped in Canada due to road restrictions starting early this year due to the onset of an early spring and warming temperatures, in comparison to previous years.

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