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U.S. Rig Count Dips As Oil Prices Hold Steady

The number of active oil and gas rigs dipped again this week, according to Baker Hughes data, decreasing by 5 rigs, bringing the total rigs to 924 rigs, which is an addition of 259 rigs for the 2017 calendar year.

The number of oil rigs in the U.S. decreased by 5, while the number of gas rigs stayed the same. The number of oil rigs stands at 742 versus 529 a year ago. The number of gas rigs in the U.S. now stands at 182, up from 135 a year ago.

At 9:52am EST, the price of a WTI barrel was down $.60 (-0.97%) to $61.41, while the Brent barrel was trading down $0.35 (-0.51%) to $67.72. Both benchmarks are up week on week.

U.S. crude oil production has been on a steady upward trajectory during Q4 2017—a thorn in OPEC’s side which has managed to cap price spikes courtesy of various supply disruptions and unrest in Iran. The last week of the 2017 calendar year, crude oil production came in at 9.782 million bpd—the second highest level in 2017.

Last week, Baker Hughes data showed an alarming drop off in Canada’s rig count—the oilfield services provider reported that Canada lost 58 oil rigs and 16 gas rigs, marking a 21-rig loss year over year. This week, Canada regained 38 rigs (36 oil, 2 gas), but this still leaves Canada 31 rigs in the whole year over year.

The Permian basin rig count increased by 2 this week, standing at 400 rigs, or 133 above this same week last year. The Haynesville and Williston basins each lost a rig.

At 1:07pm EST, WTI was trading at $61.39 (-$0.62) with Brent trading at $67.62 (-$0.45).

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • John Brown on January 15 2018 said:
    LOL! With WTI at nearly $65 a barrel, the only reason for a dip in rig counts in the USA, other then a temporary dip, would be U.S. producers colluding to restrict production to keep the price of oil going higher. Its a game folks. U.S. shale oil and gas producers can make money at $50 a barrel, so at $65 they are minting money. So the gold rush to produce more oil and gas should be happening now. The facts are there is no reason in the world for oil to be above $40 a barrel even with OPEC/RUSSIA idling millions of barrels a production a day to force prices up. Despite all of that there is still a glut of oil on the market, and U.S. production has been surging even with prices in the $50 a barrel range. So the only reason U.S. production wouldn't be going crazy with WTI at $65 a barrel is if it is being restricted by U.S. producers in collusion with OPEC/RUSSIA to drive the price of oil. There is plenty of oil folks, and above the oil being produced that still exceeds demand there are million of barrels a day of capacity idled by OPEC/Russia, and millions of barrel at day that could be added in the US at a price of $65 a barrel. If its not added you will no how deep and extensive the conspiracy and collusion to sustain and raise prices goes. Even in the USA where it is illegal.

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