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U.S. Rig Count Slips Amid Retreat In Crude Prices

The number of total active drilling rigs in the United States dropped by 5 this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published on Friday.

The total rig count fell to 760 this week—263 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2021.

Oil rigs in the United States fell by 9 this week, to 596. Gas rigs rose by 4, to 162. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 2.

The rig count in the Permian Basin dropped by 6 to 342 this week. Rigs in the Eagle Ford rose by 1 to 71. Oil and gas rigs in the Permian are 92 above where they were this time last year. 

Primary Vision's Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells—a more frugal use of finances than drilling new wells—rose 7 to 287 for the week ending August 26, compared to 240 a year ago.

Crude oil production in the United States fell unexpectedly in the week ending August 26. U.S. crude oil production fell by 3.3 million bpd for the second consecutive week, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates. At 418.3 million barrels, the current U.S. crude oil inventory is now 6% below the five-year average for this time of year.  

Gasoline inventories also shed 1.2 million barrels for the week ending August 26, though the decline was smaller than the previous week’s. 

At 1:107 p.m. ET, the WTI benchmark was trading up 1.44% on the day, struggling to pare losses from recession-related demand fears and a new wave of COVID lockdowns in China. 

WTI was trading at $87.86—up $1.25 per barrel on the day, but down over $5 from a week ago. 

The Brent benchmark was trading up at $93.97 per barrel, up $1.61 (+1.74%) on the day, but also down around $5 per barrel since last Friday. 

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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