U.S. Oil Rig Count Ticks Up To 17-Month High

While the U.S. gas rig count declined for a second straight week, the oil rig count has climbed in 17 of the past 18 weeks to its highest mark since Oct. 2, 2015.

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The U.S. total active rig count made an incremental gain last week, adding two. It was the seventh straight week that the combined oil and gas rig total has increaseed. Friday's rig count, provided by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes, checked in at 756 — its highest mark since Nov. 20, 2015. The total is up by 54.6 percent from a year earlier, and up 87.1 percent since bottoming out at 404 in May 2016.

The U.S. added seven oil rigs last week, pushing its current mark to 609. It was the seventh straight week the oil rig count has grown, and the 17th week in the past 18. That 609 figure is up 55.4 percent year-over-year, and up 92.7 percent since bottoming out at 316 last May. The current total is still far below the the 1,600 mark it checked in at on Oct. 10, 2014, but has grown steadily for nine months. The number of active oil rigs in the U.S. is now the highest since Oct. 2, 2015 — a 17-month span.

The U.S. lost five gas rigs last week, its second straight week of decline (-2 on Feb. 27 count). The active gas rig count of 146 is up 50.5 percent from a year earlier, and up 80.2 percent since bottoming out at 81 in August 2016.

U.S. miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at one.

Texas once again led the overall rig count gain this past week, adding six to a total of 392 — up 72.7 percent year-over-year. North Dakota added three, Louisiana added two, and Utah added one. Oklahoma lost three, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each lost two, while Alaska and New Mexico each lost one.

Canada lost six total rigs last week, losing nine oil and adding three gas. Its combined count of 335 is up 160.0 percent year-over-year, with its 197 oil rigs up by 147 and its 138 gas rigs up by 59.

Friday's combined North American rig count of 1,091 is down four from a week earlier. It is up 473 year-over-year, or 76.5 percent.

Oil Price Update

U.S. Brent crude oil prices dipped slightly last week, opening Feb. 26 at $56.32 and closing Friday at $55.90. Oil was at $55.90 as of 8:30 a.m. CT Monday morning.

Oil has closed at between $54.26 and $57.49 since Dec. 1, showing steadiness over the last 13 weeks.

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