The number of active oil and gas rigs in the United States rose for the nineteenth straight week, Baker Hughes reported on Friday by 7, signaling that the US Shale patch is, for OPEC, an unstoppable force.
The number of oil rigs in operation increased by 2, and gas rigs increased by 5. Combined, the total oil and gas rig count in the US now stands at 908 rigs, or 504 above the count a year ago. This is on top of drilled but uncompleted wells in the US, which are also on the rise, swelling from 5,534 in March 2017 to 5,721 in April 2017, according to the EIA.
Oil prices took a hit this week on OPEC’s announcement that they would extend the cut through March 2018—a commitment that under normal circumstances would have had a positive effect on oil prices, but the news came woefully short of lofty market expectations that would have had OPEC cut production deeper, not just longer.
At 12:25pm EST on Friday, WTI was trading up 1% for the day at $49.39. While up for the day, it was merely recovering losses from post-OPEC announcement. Last week pre-rig count, WTI was trading at $50.44.
Brent Crude was trading up 0.7% at that time at $51.82, down from last week’s pre-rig count price of $53.66 Related: Plasma Jet Engines: Is Flying At 20Km Per Second Possible?
This year has shown that OPEC’s influence isn’t what it used to be, with US shale breathing down its neck at every turn, unwittingly undermining all of OPEC’s sacrificial efforts to rebalance the market.
By basin, DJ-Niobrara saw a 4-rig increase, with the Cana Woodford basin coming in a close second with a gain of 3 rigs. The Eagle Ford, Permian, and Williston basin all added a single rig, with Graite Wash the only basin to lose a rig.
At 1:90PM, WTI was trading at $49.53 and Brent at $51.89.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com
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