U.S. Oil Rig Count Tops 700 For First Time Since April 2015; Price Falls Further

The U.S. oil rig count grew last week for the 26th time in the past 27 weeks, while the price of oil declined nearly $3 throughout the week.

Last week the U.S. added seven rigs exploring for oil and gas, continuing its long-standing gain. Meanwhile, Canada's rig count dipped further and the price of oil fell under the $46 mark.

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 877 β€” up 111.3 percent year-over-year and up 114.4 percent since bottoming out at 404 in May 2016. The count equals its highest mark since Aug. 28, 2015.

Last week was the 16th straight week the combined U.S. rig count increased. Oil rigs comprised 80.2 percent of the total.

The U.S. added six oil rigs last week, pushing its current mark to 703. It's the first time the oil rig count has surpassed 700 rigs since April 24, 2015. It was the 16th straight week the oil rig count has grown, and the 26th week in the past 27. The 703 figure is up 114.3 percent year-over-year and up 122.5 percent since bottoming out at 316 in May 2016.

The current oil rig total is still less than half the 1,600 mark it checked in at on Oct. 10, 2014, but has grown steadily for 11 months.

The U.S. also added two gas rigs last week. The active U.S. gas rig count of 173 is up 101.2 percent year-over-year, up 113.6 percent since bottoming out at 81 in May 2016 and is at its highest count since Dec. 11, 2015.

The U.S. lost one of its previous two miscellaneous rigs last week, 

Texas once again led last week's overall U.S. rig count gain, adding six to a current total of 443 β€” up 135.6 percent year-over-year. Louisiana added four, Alaska and Wyoming each added two, while Colorado and New Mexico added one apiece. Oklahoma lost seven, while North Dakota and West Virginia lost one apiece.

Canada/North America

Canada's rig count continued to fall last week, losing another three rigs overall to a count of 82. It was Canada's 10th straight week of decline, with its count decreasing by 256 β€” or 76.0 percent β€” in that time.

Friday's count of 82 is still up by 127.8 percent year-over-year, though that percentage has dropped sharply over these past 10 weeks. Canada added three oil rigs last week and lost six gas rigs. Canada's 27 current oil rigs are up 16 year-over-year, and its 55 gas rigs are up by 31.

Friday's North American rig count of 959 increased by four from a week earlier. It is up 508 year-over-year β€” or 112.6 percent.

Oil Price Update

Oil prices declined for a third-straight week last week, falling nearly $3 throughout the week. WTI Crude oil opened May 1 at $49.17 and fell to as low as $43.76 on Friday before rallying to close that day at $46.22. Oil opened Monday at $46.35 and was at $46.38 as of 8:53 a.m. CT.

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