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A significant development this week…

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 Soars, Putting Yet More Pressure On OPEC

This week’s Baker Hughes report shows the U.S. domestic oil and gas rig count up 21 rigs this week, bringing the total to 789 active oil and gas rigs—a fantastic 313-rig increase over last year.

The bulk of this week’s gains were oil rigs, which saw a 14-rig gain, while gas saw a build of 6, with one miscellaneous rig added last week. The number of active oil rigs in the United States now sits at 631—244 rigs over the number of rigs this time last year.

In sharp contrast, Canada saw a 31-rig decrease to its oil rigs, while the number of gas rigs in Canada dipped by 10 this week.

Both West Texas Intermediate and Brent barrels were traded slightly up (.02% and .04% respectively) on Friday preceding the release of the report, with WTI still trading below $49 per barrel at $48.76. At 12:32pm EST, Brent was trading at $51.76 per barrel, indicating that the market is still dissatisfied with the current state of crude oil inventories.

On Thursday, Saudi Oil Minister Khalid al-Falih reassured the battered oil market by acknowledging that it would be willing to sit down with OPEC members and extend the production cuts, if needed. An extension could mean even more good news for US shale, who has seized the opportunity presented by OPEC and brought on 157 oil rigs since the cuts were announced at the end of November 2016.

(Click to enlarge)

Surprisingly, the Permian Basin lost a rig this week, while the Willison Basin saw a 4-rig increase. The Arkoma Woodford and Mississippian basins each saw a 3-rig increase, and Eagle Ford saw a gain of 2 rigs.

Within 20 minutes of the data release, both benchmarks were starting to feel the pinch, with WTI trading down .06% at $48.72 with Brent trading down .08% at $51.70.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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