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U.S. Oil Rig Count Up On Rising Oil Prices

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States increased again on Friday by 12, taking aim at earlier gains to both WTI and Brent crude oil benchmarks. Both benchmarks were trading up over 2% earlier on Friday after an International Energy Agency report showed that OPEC‘s supply-cut deal achieved a record initial compliance rate of 90 percent.

The total number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States is now 741, according to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, which is 200 rigs above the rig count a year ago.

The number of oil rigs went up from 583 last week to 591 this week. The number of active oil rigs in the United States is now the highest since October 23, 2015.

Oil rigs have increased by 114 since the OPEC agreement was announced on November 30.

(Click to enlarge)

While rig gains have been substantial in recent months, it’s still a far cry from the number of rigs in production on October 10, 2014, when the United States had 1,609 oil rigs in production—the highest number of active oil rigs since Baker Hughes began tracking the data in 1944.

The number of gas rigs increased this week by 4, and now stand at 149, marking the thirteenth week of gas rig increases in the last 14 weeks. Related: Permian Drilling Costs Surge: Are The Days Of Cheap Oilfield Services Over?

The coveted Permian basin gained six rigs this week, and now has 301 oil and gas rigs—129 rigs more than the same week last year. Eagle Ford and Marcellus each saw a three-rig increase this week, while Cana Woodford lost five rigs. All basins except for Barnett, Mississippian, and Williston have reached or exceeded the number of rigs in production a year ago.

At 11:48am EST WTI was trading up 2% at $54.06, with the Brent Crude benchmark trading up 2.1% at $56.80. Within minutes of the rig count release, WTI’s gains began to retract, and was trading at $53.99 at 1:14pm EST.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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