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US Drillers See Modest Rise In Oil Rigs As Prices Hold

Baker Hughes reported an increase in the number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States this week.

The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs rose by 2 rigs, according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs increasing by 3 to reach 857 and the number of gas rigs decreasing by 1 to reach 194.

The oil and gas rig count is now 76 up from this time last year, 59 of which is in oil rigs.

While the overall rig count is up for the week, the Permian basin saw the largest drop in rigs this week, losing 5 rigs.

Oil prices were trading up earlier on Friday with steadfast faith in OPEC’s production cuts now that data is in for January showing a significant decrease in production from the cartel from December levels. An additional bullish factor came on reports that the world’s largest offshore oilfield, the Safaniyah in Saudi Arabia, had been shut down. Further clarification on the shutdown came in later in the day that confirmed the field’s shutdown, adding that it was only a partial shutdown. Still, oil prices remained up, with Brent topping $65 as bullish factors outweighed the disappointing oil demand growth that many expect is looming around the corner.

At 10:41am, WTI was trading up 1.49% (+$0.97) at $55.39, while Brent was trading up 1.58% (+$1.02) at $65.59—the highest level yet this year. Related: 2 Reasons Why Big Oil Isn’t Rushing Into Renewables

Canada’s oil and gas rigs decreased by 16 rigs this week. Canada’s total oil and gas rig count is now 224, which is 94 fewer rigs than this time last year.

The EIA’s estimates for US production for the week ending February 8 shows that US producers are holding their production rates fast at an average rate of 11.9 million bpd­—a record for the US—for the fifth week in a row.

By 1:06pm EDT, WTI was trading up 1.97% (+$1.07) at $55.48 on the day. Brent crude was trading up 2.25% (+$1.45) at $66.02 per barrel, with both benchmarks trading up significantly week on week.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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