U.S. Rig Count Now At Highest Mark Since April 2015

The U.S. active rig count continued its overall slow-but-steady climb last week, while the price of oil had a solid gain throughout the week.

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The U.S. active rig count continued its overall slow-but-steady climb last week, while the price of oil had a solid gain throughout the week.

Friday's U.S. combined oil and gas rig count — provided by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes — ticked up by three to a mark of 978. That's the count's highest mark since April 10, 2015, and a considerable increase since a recent bottoming-out at 898 on Nov. 3, 2017. Friday's count was up 224 year-over-year (YoY), or 29.7 percent.

The U.S. added one oil rig last week, moving its count to 799. That is up 197 YoY, or 32.7 percent, and at its highest mark since April 2, 2015. The U.S. added two gas rigs last week, with its count climbing to 179. That is up 28 YoY, or 18.5 percent.

The U.S. miscellaneous rig count remained at zero.

Of last week's combined rig count, Texas added three and New Mexico added two, while Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Ohio and Wyoming each added one. Oklahoma lost a pair, while Kansas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each lost one.

Starting this week, I'm also now embedding the daily U.S. rig count provided by Drillinginfo via its recently-launched DailyRigcount.com — a microsite that utilizes data from GPS tracking units and publicly-reported information to monitor oil and gas drilling rig movements in the U.S.

Traditional rig counts — such as those from Baker Hughes — typically define a rig as active only when it is "turning to the right," and have been released on Friday afternoons every week since 1944, whereas DailyRigCount defines a rig as active from the time a GPS tracking unit identifies it at a permitted oil and gas drilling location until the time it leaves, and is released daily. In addition, Drillinginfo captures rig movements on weekends and holidays, reflecting the actual activity in the oil field.

Canada/North America

Canada lost a dozen rigs last week, moving its overall rig count to 306. That mark is down 35 YoY, or 10.3 percent. Canada lost nine oil rigs and lost three gas rigs, with its oil rig count of 209 now up by three YoY (1.5 percent) and its gas rig count of 97 down by 38 (28.1 percent).

Friday's North American combined rig count of 1,284 decreased by nine from a week earlier and was up by 189 YoY, or 17.3 percent.

Oil Price Update

The price of oil — which had fallen from a 37-month high of $66.14 on Jan. 26 to $59.19 on Feb. 13, continued its steady recovery last week by gaining $2 throughout the week. Oil closed Monday, Feb. 19 at $61.55 and closed Wednesday at $61.68 before jumping more than a dollar on Thursday and nearly another on Friday to a week close of $63.55. Oil opened Monday at $63.81 and was at $63.22 as of 9 a.m. CT.

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