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U.S. Oil Rig Count Stalls As WTI Remains Below $60

Baker Hughes reported on Friday that the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States increased by 2 this week, bringing the total rig count to 432.

Last week, the U.S. oil and gas rig count increased by 13. The total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs in the U.S. is still 170 fewer than this time last year.

The oil rig count stayed the same at 337 this week. The number of gas rigs increased by 2 to 93. The number of miscellaneous rigs also stayed the same.

The EIA’s estimate for oil production in the United States for the week ending April 2 fell by 200,000 bpd this week to 10.9 million barrels. The EIA is now estimating that U.S. oil production will reach a modest 11.04 million bpd this year, with U.S. shale producers focusing on kicking back cash to their investors instead of increasing production.

Canada’s overall rig count decreased this week by 11. Oil and gas rigs in Canada now sit at 58 active rigs, up 23 on the year. 

The rig count in the Permian basin stayed the same this week. The Permian’s total rig count is still 92 rigs below this time last year.

The Frac Spread Count provided by Primary Vision shows that fracking crews have steadily ticked upwards from the double-digit figures we were seeing during the height of the pandemic. The frac spread count, which estimates the number of completion crews finishing off previously drilled wells, has for a few weeks been above the 200 mark, with the last available data for the week ending April 1 reaching 207. This compares to a frac spread count of just 45 in May of last year.

Check back here later today for an exclusive early peek at the Frac Spread Count for week ending April 8. 

At 12:50 p.m. EDT, WTI was trading down $0.15 per barrel on the day at $59.45—down almost $2 per barrel on the week with the market bracing for a drop in crude oil demand stemming from an increase in the number of Covid-19 cases and associated shutdowns. A large increase in gasoline stockpiles in the United States this week pushed prices down further.

The Brent benchmark was trading down $0.13 per barrel on the day, at $63.07 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for Oilprice.com, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group. More