The number of active drilling rigs in the United States rose by 3 this week—the 15th straight weekly increase to the number of oil and gas rigs in the United States. The total rig count now sits at 613 as the price of a WTI barrel continues to climb to levels not seen since 2014—an attraction to drillers that could find too hard to pass up despite the push to maintain capital discipline and return money to shareholders.
Baker Hughes reported this week that the total active rig figure—oil, gas, and miscellaneous—is 221 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2021.
Oil-directed rigs rose 2 to 497, while gas-directed rigs were up by 1 to 116.
While the U.S. is seeing steady gains in the number of drilling rigs, and while the longer-term trend of U.S. oil production is upward, the recent short-term trend for oil production has taken a downward slant. Oil production in the U.S. last week fell again, to 11.5 million bpd for week ending January 28, according to the Energy Information Administration. This is the lowest production level since mid-November.
The rig count in the Permian Basin rose by 1 this week, with Chevron and Exxon both detailing in the quarterly results big plans for the basin this year. The Permian's total rig count is now 294.
Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, which tracks the number of completion crews finishing off previously drilled wells, shows that completion crews rose for the fourth week in a row by 4 to 261 for week ending January 28. The frac spread count is now up 91 from a year ago.
At 12:43 p.m. EST, oil prices were trending up the day, intent on setting multi-year records. WTI was trading at $92.77—up 2.77% on the day and $5 per barrel on the week. The Brent benchmark traded at $93.50 per barrel at that time, up 2.62% on the day and up just under $3 per barrel on the week.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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