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U.S. Oil Rig Count Takes Sharp Turn Downward

The US oil and gas rig count fell again, decreasing by 18 for the week, according to Baker Hughes, but US oil companies are still pumping oil at record rates.

The total oil and gas rig count now stands at 868, or 185 down from this time last year.

The total number of active oil rigs in the United States decreased by 14 according to the report, reaching 719. The number of active gas rigs decreased by 5 to reach 148.

Oil rigs have seen a loss of 147 rigs year on year, with gas rigs down 38 since this time last year, compared to 858 and 187 active rigs, respectively, at the beginning of the year.

Still, in the United States, weekly oil production is still near an all-time high. So while the number of oil rigs have declined by 158 this year alone, production has grown from 11.7 million bpd at the beginning of the year, to 12.4 million bpd for week ending September 13.

Oil prices were trading slightly up on Friday ahead of the data, with the huge spikes seen earlier in the week in the wake of the attacks on Aramco’s infrastructure now somewhat subdued.

At 11:39 am EDT today, WTI was up $0.38 (0.65%) at $58.57, still up $3 week over week.  Brent crude was trading up on the day as well, by $0.29 (0.46%) at $63.62, also up roughly $3 per barrel for the week.  

Canada’s overall rig count decreased this week as well. Oil and gas rigs decreased by 15, after last week’s 13-rig decrease. Oil and gas rigs in Canada are down 78 year on year. 

WTI was trading up 1.44% shortly after data release, while Brent was trading up 1.23%.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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