Last week the U.S. added 10 rigs exploring for oil and gas to continue its long-standing gain, Canada's decline worsened and made the overall North America rig count slide further, while the price of oil sunk back below $50 per barrel.
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 857 — up 98.8 percent year-over-year and up 112.1 percent since bottoming out at 404 in May 2016. The count is now at its highest since Sept. 4, 2015.
Last week was the 14th straight week the combined U.S. count has increased. Oil rigs comprised 80.3 percent of the current U.S. combined rig count.
The U.S. added five oil rigs last week, pushing its current mark to 688. It was the 14th straight week the oil rig count has grown and the 24th week in the past 25. The 688 figure is just over double its 343 mark from a year earlier, up 117.7 percent since bottoming out at 316 in May 2016 and 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. also added five gas rigs last week. The active gas rig count of 167 is up 89.8 percent year-over-year, up more than double (106.2 percent) since bottoming out at 81 in May 2016 and at its highest count since Dec. 18, 2015.
The U.S.'s two miscellaneous rigs were unchanged from the previous week.
Texas led the overall U.S. rig count gain last week, adding six to a current total of 426 — up 127.8 percent year-over-year. Alaska, Colorado, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Wyoming each added one, while Oklahoma lost one.
Canada's rig count continued to fall last week, losing another 19 rigs. It was Canada's eighth straight week of decline, and it has decreased by 242 — or 71.0 percent — in that time.
Friday's Canada rig count of 99 is still up 147.5 percent year-over-year, with its 33 oil rigs up by 21 and 66 gas rigs up by 39.
Friday's combined North American rig count of 956 is down nine from a week earlier. It is up 485 year-over-year, or 103.0 percent.
Oil Price Update
The price of WTI Crude Oil ended two weeks of gains in a big way last week, falling more than $3 to back under the $50-mark upon traders' estimates of oversupply.
Oil opened Monday, April 17 at $53.34 before falling nearly $2 on Wednesday and another $1.09 by the end of Friday to $49.62. That's oil's lowest price since opening March 29 at $48.99.