U.S. Oil Rig Count Now Highest In 2 Years As Price Tops $53

The U.S. active oil rig count grew last week for the 24th time in the past 25 weeks to its highest mark since April 24, 2015.

Last week the U.S. added eight rigs exploring for oil and gas to continue its long-standing gain, while Canada's declined worsened and made the overall North America rig count slide further.

Friday's combined oil and gas rig count provided by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes showed that the current U.S. mark is now at 847 β€” up 92.5 percent year-over-year and up 108.9 percent since bottoming out at 404 in May 2016. The count is now at its highest since Sept. 11, 2015. Last week was the 13th straight week the combined U.S. count has increased. Oil rigs comprised 80.6 percent of the current U.S. combined rig count.

The U.S. added 11 oil rigs last week, pushing its current mark to 683. It was the 13th straight week the oil rig count has grown, and the 23rd week in the past 24. The 683 figure is up 94.6 percent year-over-year, up 105.1 percent since bottoming out at 316 in May 2016 and is at its highest count since April 24, 2015. The current oil rig total is still far below the the 1,600 mark it checked in at on Oct. 10, 2014, but has grown steadily for 11 months.

The U.S. lost three gas rigs last week, snapping a two-week gain streak. The active gas rig count of 162 is up 82.0 percent year-over-year and exactly double since bottoming out at 81 in August 2016.

The U.S.'s two miscellaneous rigs were unchanged from last week.

New Mexico led the overall U.S. rig count gain last week, adding seven to a current total of 58 β€” up 205.3 percent year-over-year. Oklahoma added three and Texas added two, while California, North Dakota and Ohio each added one. Alaska and Louisiana each lost a pair.

Canada's rig count continued to fall last week, losing another 14 rigs. It was Canada's seventh straight week of decline, and it has decreased by 223 rigs β€” or 65.4 percent β€” in that time.

Friday's Canada rig count of 118 is still up 195.0 percent year-over-year, with its 40 oil rigs up by 30 and 78 gas rigs up by 48.

Friday's combined North America rig count of 965 is down six from a week earlier. It is up 485 year-over-year, or 101.0 percent.

Oil Price Update

The price of WTI Crude Oil continued a modest climb last week, improving $0.87 from last Monday through Friday. Oil opened April 10 at $52.31 and closed Friday at $53.18. Oil was at $53.03 as of 8:37 a.m. Monday morning. 

Oil had closed below $51 each day from March 8 to April 3 before recovering these past two weeks.

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