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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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U.S. Drilling Continues to Slow

The total number of active drilling rigs for oil and gas in the United States fell this week by 1, according to new data that Baker Hughes published on Friday—the first weekly data of the new year.

The total rig count fell by 1 to 621 this week. Over the course of 2023, the United States has seen the active rig count for oil and gas fall by 157, while achieving record-breaking production. The end of year rig count was also 452 fewer rigs than the pre-pandemic era—again, all while beating pre-pandemic production rates by 1.377 million bpd, according to EIA data.

The number of oil rigs rose by 1 this week, and now stand at 501--down by 117 compared to this time last year. The number of gas rigs fell by 2 this week to 118, a loss of 34 active gas rigs from this time last year. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 2.

Meanwhile, U.S. crude oil production slipped 100,000 bpd to an average of 13.2 million bpd in the week ending December 29—a 1.1 million bpd increase from the same week in 2022.

Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing wells that are unfinished, fell by 12 in the week to December 29 to 240, after falling by 13 in the week prior. The frac spread count is now at its lowest levels in two years.

Oil prices began the day trading up. At 7:10 a.m. ET on Friday, the WTI benchmark was trading up $0.51 (+0.71%) on the day at $72.70. This is an increase of just under $0.70 per barrel from this time last week. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.38 (+0.49%) at $77.97, an increase of roughly $0.40 per barrel from a week ago.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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