U.S. Rig Count Ticks Up Further As Oil Settles In Below $66

The active U.S. rig count has made only incremental gains these past couple weeks, but they are gains nonetheless. Year-to-date, the count has increased by 133 rigs so far in 2018.

The active U.S. rig count has made only incremental gains these past couple weeks, but they are gains nonetheless. The count continued its long-standing climb last week with a modest increase, while the price of WTI Crude oil appears to have settled in after falling by more than $7 the previous two weeks.

The combined active oil and gas rig count climbed by two last week to 1,052 — still at its highest count since March 20, 2015 (1,069) — following a one-rig gain the week before. It was the count's 10th-straight increase, with data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes showing the U.S. added one oil and one gas rig. The current U.S. oil rig count of 862 is up 121 year-over-year (YoY), or 16.3 percent and is at its highest mark since March 13, 2015 (866). The active gas rig count of 198 is up 13 YoY, or 7.0 percent. The U.S. miscellaneous rig count remained at two.

The U.S. combined rig count has increased by 133 so far through 23 weeks of 2018, which has included 18 weekly gains, four decreases and one hold.

Of last week's combined rig count, Texas added three, Colorado added two and Louisiana added one. Oklahoma and Wyoming each lost a pair and North Dakota 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/North America

Canada's seasonal rig count decline is now a thing of the past, as its combined count posted a second-straight sizable increase. Canada gained 13 rigs last week after adding 18 the week before. That count had peaked at 342 in early February and bottomed out at 79 on May 11. All 13 rigs added last week were in oil, as its 69 oil rigs are currently down five YoY, while its 43 gas rigs are down 15 YoY.

Friday's North American combined rig count of 1,174 increased by 15 from a week earlier and was up by 115 YoY, or 10.9 percent. 

Oil Price Update

The price of WTI Crude oil fell more than $7 from May 21 through June 4, and appears to have settled in to its new lowered state. Oil opened Monday, June 4 at $65.72 and briefly sunk to $64.28 Tuesday morning — its lowest mark since Jan. 23 of this year — before recovering to $65.85 overnight into Tuesday. Oil again fell below $65 on Wednesday before hovering at or slightly above $66 most of Thursday and Friday before sliding to a workweek close of $65.59. Oil opened Monday at that same mark and was at $65.60 as of 9:30 a.m. CT.

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