While OPEC continues to curb its in-house oil production among its members, US drillers are ramping up, adding rigs for the fifth week in a row. This week, Baker Hughes reported that active oil and gas rigs in the US had climbed by 2.
The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 931 rigs, up 307 rigs from a year ago, with the number of oil rigs climbing by 2 and the number of gas rigs holding steady. The number of oil rigs stand at 751 versus 498 a year ago. The number of gas rigs in the US now stands at 180, up from 125 a year ago.
The WTI and Brent benchmarks had slipped earlier in the week after the EIA and API reported a massive build in gasoline inventories. But prices had started to recover on Friday on threats of a nationwide strike in Nigeria and reports that China’s crude oil imports had hit record highs for the month of November.
By 11:25am EST, the price of a WTI barrel was up $0.78 (+1.38%) to $57.47, with a Brent barrel up $1.08 (+1.74%) to $63.28.
The Permian Basin added 3 rigs for the week, bringing the total count in the fastest growing shale patch to 400 compared to just 246 a year ago. Eagle Ford, Haynesville, and Marcellus all added three rigs this week as well.
Along with an increase to the number of active oil rigs, US crude oil production continues to climb a weekly basis, placing further pressure on prices. US crude oil production for the week ending December 1 was 9.707 million barrels per day—another record for 2017, and the seventh straight weekly increase.
At 1:08pm EST, WTI was trading at $57.26 with Brent trading at $63.19.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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