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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. Rig Count Continues To Rise As Canadian Rig Count Plunges

Baker Hughes reported another 5-rig increase to the number of oil and gas rigs this week.

The total number of oil and gas rigs now stands at 995, which is an addition of 186 rigs year over year.

The number of oil rigs in the United States increased by 4 this week, for a total of 804 active oil wells in the U.S.—a figure that is 152 more rigs than this time last year. The number of gas rigs rose by 1 this week, and now stands at 190; 35 rigs above this week last year.

The oil and gas rig count in the United States has increased by 71 in 2018.

Canada continued its severe losing streak, with a decrease of 58 oil and gas rigs, after losing 54 rigs on top last week, and a 29-rig loss the week before. At 161 total rigs, Canada now has 84 fewer rigs than it did a year ago.

Oil prices managed to climb substantially this week and were up again today prior to data release as the Saudi Energy Minister, Khalid al-Falih, said that he expected the production cuts to last into 2019. Other factors buoying prices are tensions in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia insisted that it would pursue nuclear power plans with or without the support of the United States, and would even work on developing nuclear weapons should Iran do the same. Weighing on prices this week is U.S. crude oil production, which continued its uptick in the week ending March 16, reaching 10.407 million bpd. Related: U.S. Electricity Sales Fall Again

At 12:28 pm EST, the price of a WTI barrel was trading up $1.11 (+1.73%) to $65.41—a ~$4.00 increase over last week’s prices. The Brent barrel was also trading up on the day, by $0.93 (+1.36%) at $69.31 $65.78. Meanwhile, WCS was trading at $35.80.

At 1:09pm EST, WTI was trading at $65.39 (+$1.09) and Brent was trading at $69.31 (+$0.93).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • Ann on March 23 2018 said:
    oil rig count in US rising. prices rising. Never told how much is shipped out of the US. Just maybe that is why the reserves are lower and somehow drives ujp the prices by the speculators
  • Mr Shugs on March 23 2018 said:
    Why are Canadian NG and OIl companies reducing their rigs at such high rates? Seem that you left us without any reason.
  • Jason on March 23 2018 said:
    The Americans have been attacking Canadian oil with paid protesters and smear campaigns. I have to admit, they out manoeuvred our government.(not that it’s difficult)
    Now Canada buys more oil from the US than we export. Canadian producers are stuck with billions of investment dollars gone and no pipelines.
  • TR James on March 23 2018 said:
    This is very typical of the Canadian patch and is wholey seasonal. Road bans due to thawing restrict heavy vehicles so that roads are not destroyed as the frost comes out. Check historical canadian rig counts; does the same thing every year. Funny thing is many traders seem to have interpreted it as doom and thus canuck e&p stocks declined markedly. Buy!
  • TR James on March 23 2018 said:
    Simply seasonal.
  • Jill on March 24 2018 said:
    The number of operating Canadian oil rigs has dropped because they always drop in spring, during spring melt, when mud and muskeg make roadways into northern Alberta oil wells impassable..
  • NickSJ on March 24 2018 said:
    Mr Shugs - the answer is probably related to the fact that export pipeline capacity to carry away the oil from Canada to the US and abroad is far below production capacity, so there is a huge discount on Canadian oil prices because it can't be moved to markets. Much more expensive rail capacity is not enough to make up the difference. Resistance by green groups has kept new capacity from coming online for years.

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