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U.S. Rig Count Sees Modest Increase Amid Soaring Oil Prices

Baker Hughes reported an increase of a single oil and gas rig in the United States this week, bringing the total number of active oil and gas rigs to 1,054 according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs decreasing by three to reach 863 and the number of gas rigs increasing by three. The miscellaneous rig count increased by one rig.

The oil and gas rig count is now 114 up from this time last year.

At 12:22pm. EDT on Friday, WTI Crude was trading up 1.72 percent at $73.36—up over $3 per barrel up from this time last week, while Brent Crude was trading up on the day by 1.98 percent at $82.99—up more than $5 per barrel from this time last week.

Prices climbed this week as OPEC failed to agree to a production increase at their weekend meeting juts days ago, intensifying fears that the oil market may find itself undersupplied in the wake of Iranian and Venezuelan supply disruptions.

Japan and South Korea have both ceased all oil trading with Iran, and India and even China’s Sinopec have drastically reduced oil volumes from the country that finds itself on the wrong end of US sanctions. Related: Shell CEO: $80 Oil To Boost Energy Infrastructure Investment

Reports that Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and a handful of OPEC members have unofficial plans to increase production have done little to assuage the fears that the market may slip to a deficit. Russia has hit a new oil production high for the month of September, Reuters sources say, averaging 11.347 million bpd, but this, too, has failed to cut the oil price increases.

Canada’s oil and gas rigs for the week lost 19 rigs this week after losing 29 rigs last week, bringing its total oil and gas rig count to 178, which is 35 fewer than this time last year, with a 13-rig decrease for oil for a second week in a row, and a 6-rig decrease for gas.

On the production side, the EIA’s estimates for US production for the week ending September 21 were for an average of 11.10 million bpd—a new high for the United States.

By 1:07pm EDT, WTI was trading up 1.89% (+$1.36) at $73.48. Brent crude was trading up 2.20% (+$1.79) at $83.17 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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