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Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger

Julianne Geiger is a veteran editor, writer and researcher for US-based Divergente LLC consulting firm, and a member of the Creative Professionals Networking Group.

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U.S. Rig Count Soars Despite Plunging Oil Prices

Baker Hughes reported a large 14-rig increase for oil and gas in the United States this week, bringing the total number of active oil and gas drilling rigs to 1,081 according to the report, with the number of active oil rigs increasing by 12 to reach 886 and the number of gas rigs climbing by 2 to reach 195.

The oil and gas rig count is now 174 up from this time last year.

Crude oil prices slipped further into bear territory on Friday— continuing its ugly slide, with Brent even falling below $70 earlier in the day.



This is all despite US sanctions on Iran, which were made somewhat toothless as Washington extended waivers to eight countries, who will now be able to access Iranian crude oil. And the waivers were not just to any Iranian buyers, but major ones including India and China.

WTI did not far any better, sinking to just above $60 around noon EST.

The rapid price decline over the last month or so is not expected to be reflected in the US rig count immediately; there is a significant lag—in terms of months—for correlation between prices and rig additions or subtractions. Related: Cramer: WTI Could Drop To $40s In ‘Ferocious’ Bear Market

At 11:30am. EST on Friday, the price of the WTI crude benchmark was down 0.82% (-$0.50) at $60.17—a near $3 per barrel slide from this time last week. For the Brent crude benchmark, Friday saw prices slip by 0.75% (-$0.53) to $70.12.

Canada’s oil and gas rigs for the week decreased by 2 rigs this week after losing 2 rigs last week as well, bringing its total oil and gas rig count to 193, which is 7 fewer rigs than this time last year, with a 4-rig decrease for oil rigs, and a 2-rig increase for gas rigs.

The EIA’s estimates for US production for the week ending November 2 were for an average of 11.6 million bpd—a brand new high despite the price declines over the last month.

By 1:08pm EDT, WTI was trading down 1.24% (-$0.75) at $59.92. Brent crude was trading down 0.98% (-$0.69) at $69.96 per barrel.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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