The active U.S. rig count continued its long-standing climb last week with another healthy gain, while the price of WTI Crude oil was above $71 multiple days.
The combined active oil and gas rig count climbed by 13 last week to 1,045 — its highest count since March 27, 2015 (1,048). It was the sixth-straight increase, with data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes showing the U.S. added 10 oil rigs and three gas rigs. The current U.S. oil rig count of 844 is up 132 year-over-year (YoY), or 18.5 percent and is at its highest mark since March 13, 2015 (866). The active gas rig count of 199 is up 27 YoY, or 15.7 percent. The U.S. miscellaneous rig count remained at two.
The U.S. combined rig count has increased by 116 so far through 19 weeks of 2018, which has included 14 weekly gains and four decreases.
Of last week's combined rig count, Texas added eight, Oklahoma and Colorado added three and Alaska added two, while Louisiana and West Virginia each added one. New Mexico lost four and Wyoming lost one.
Below is the daily U.S. rig count provided by Drillinginfo on its 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. Unlike raditional 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.
Canada's seasonal rig count decline continued last week, falling by seven to a mark of 79 per Baker Hughes' data. For reference, Canada's count hovered between 80-99 during April-May 2017. Canada's Friday mark was the one less than a year earlier, with its current oil rig count of 32 up by three YoY and its gas rig count of 47 down by four.
Friday's North American combined rig count of 1,124 increased by six from a week earlier and was up by 159 YoY, or 16.5 percent.
Oil Price Update
A week after reaching the $70 mark for the first time since December 2014, the price of WTI Crude oil continued to increase last week overall, holding above $71 for much of the second half. Oil opened Monday, May 7 at $70.41 sunk back to $68.08 late Tuesday morning before recovering above $70 later that afternoon. Oil hit $71 Wednesday afternoon and peaked at $71.77 Thursday afternoon before regressing some to $70.53 at the close of the workweek Friday afternoon. Oil opened Monday at $70.49 and was at $70.78 as of 8:25 a.m. CT.