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OPEC Cuts Are Already Paying Off

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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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U.S., Canadian Rig Count Rises After Tumultuous Week

Baker Hughes reported an increase to the number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States on Friday. Oil and gas rigs increased by 2 rigs, according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs staying at 863 for the week, while the number of gas rigs increased by 2, hitting 189.

The oil and gas rig count now stands at 1,054—up 102 from this time last year, with the number of oil accounting for 98 of that 102.

Canada gained 15 oil and gas rigs for the week, 13 of which were oil rigs. Canada’s oil and gas rig count is now up just 6 year over year. Oil rigs are up by 33 year over year in Canada, while the number of gas rigs are down by 27.

Oil prices were trading up on Friday afternoon after a rather tumultuous week for the oil industry—a state of being that is quickly becoming the new norm as geopolitical forces, supply disruptions, and big inventory moves all make for a rocky market.

In afternoon trading, both benchmarks were up, with WTI trading up $0.57 (+0.81%) at $70.90 at 12:45pm EDT and Brent trading up $0.88 (+1.18%) at $75.33. While both benchmarks are trading up on the day, WTI is trading down almost $3 since Monday. Brent is trading down more than $3 this week.

The normal market forces—Libya’s supply disruptions while the two NOCs duke it out over control of its oil, Venezuela’s inability to stop the steadily falling production declines, the escalating trade dispute between China and the United States, and serious inventory draws for crude oil—are all working to lift the price of oil. Likewise, Saudi Arabia’s production increases and OPEC’s prediction that 2019 demand growth may be lower than previously thought seeks to pull oil prices downwards.

As for the oil production in the United States, which has been on a tear for all of 2018, seems to have leveled off a few weeks ago at 10.900 million bpd, where it has been for five weeks running. The 11 million bpd mark, should the United States hit this production level soon, will be an important psychological mark to surpass.

At 8 minutes after the hour, WTI was trading up 1.08% at $71.09, with Brent trading up 1.26% at $75.39.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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