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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 Rises As Crude Inventory Levels Hit Record High

The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States increased again on Friday by 10. Both benchmarks were trading down earlier on Friday under heavy pressure from record-high crude oil inventories (518.1 million barrels), and record-high gasoline inventories (259 million barrels).

The total number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States is now 751, according to oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, which is 237 rigs above the rig count a year ago.

The number of oil rigs increased by 6, up from 591 last week to 597 this week. The number of active oil rigs in the United States is now the highest since October 09, 2015.

Oil rigs have increased by 120 since the OPEC agreement was announced on November 30, and are following a steep trajectory upwards as OPEC continues to hold its members to specified production caps.

(Click to enlarge)

The number of gas rigs increased this week by 4 again this week, and now stand at 153, marking the fourteenth week of gas rig increases in the last 15 weeks—the highest number of gas rigs in operation since the end of 2015.

By basin, Granite Wash increased by 5 rigs and now stands at a total of 13, compared to 10 active rigs a year ago. Haynesville also saw a 3-rig gain, with the Permian, Eagle Ford, and Barnett all gaining 2 rigs each. Cana Woodford lost two rigs, and the Williston basin lost 1.

At 11:32 am EST WTI was trading down 0.6% at $53.04—around $1.00 under last Friday’s pre-rig count price. The Brent crude benchmark was trading down 0.4% at $55.43—more than $1.00 under the price point last Friday.

While things are looking up for US drillers, Canada lost 13 oil and 8 gas rigs this week, although both counts are up year on year.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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  • mp123 on February 18 2017 said:
    The rig count has a lot of people nervous, but lets keep the builds in context. The EIA estimates that the new well oil production from 1 rig is ~700 barrels a day. So this week's rig count addition adds 7k barrels a day in production. OPEC's cut was over 1mm barrels a day.

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