Baker Hughes reported a 5-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week. The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 1008, which is an addition of 161 rigs year over year.
The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by 7 this week, for a total of 815 active oil wells in the US—a figure that is 132 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs fell this week, still at 192; 30 rigs above this week last year.
The oil and gas rig count in the United States has increased by 85 in 2018.
While US drillers seem determined to add rigs, Canada—who is suffering from a rather tumultuous war in its country over pipeline infrastructure as well—continues to lose rigs (a common seasonal event), with a decrease of 9 oil and gas rigs this week, after losing 191 rigs in the previous five weeks. At just 102 total rigs, Canada now has 16 fewer rigs than it did a year ago.
Oil prices were trading up on Friday, as the Syria standoff shows no signs of abating, assisted in part by an apparent easing of tensions surrounding the China/US trade dispute. West Texas Intermediate trading up $0.48 (+0.72%) at $67.56 at 12:24pm EST. The Brent benchmark was trading up $0.73 (+1.01%) at $72.75. Related: Goldman Sachs: The Bullish Case For Oil
Despite the price upswing, pressures remain, in large part thanks to growing US production, which rose again in the week ending April 06, reaching 10.525 million bpd—the seventh build in as many weeks—less than a half million bpd off the 11.0 million bpd forecast that many predict for 2018.
At 8 minutes after the hour, WTI had slipped slightly, trading up 0.48% at $67.39, with Brent trading up 0.82% at $62.61.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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Then, it would properly depict the reality of what is going on:
Bearish news every week from Baker Hughes oil rig count data, API reports on Tuesday afternoons & EIA reports on Wednesday mornings which both show builds and record production.
Here are a couple more headlines from today:
"Asian stocks mostly gain as trade and geopolitical worries ebb"
"Dollar gains on Yen as Syria conflict fears fade"
Again, usually a stronger dollar makes for a bearish day for oil, and one cannot say that the price of oil is up approx. $5/bbl (or $1/day) this week due to Syria conflict fears or other geopolitical worries, as this contradicts what the other markets are saying.
So, that leaves us with just one culprit: Saudi Arabia...they asked for $80/bbl oil and Brent is already between $72 and $73/bbl. This will be achieved by the next OPEC meeting, as bids are already on their way on behalf of hedge fund managers via algorithmic trading.