The active U.S. rig count continued its long-standing climb last week with another healthy gain, while the price of WTI Crude oil surpassed a notable milestone by surpassing the $70-mark on Sunday.
The combined active oil and gas rig count climbed by 11 last week to 1,032 — its highest count since March 27, 2015 (1,048). It was the fifth-straight increase, with data from oilfield services provider Baker Hughes showing the U.S. added nine oil rigs, one gas rig and one miscellaneous rig. The current U.S. oil rig count of 834 is up 131 year-over-year (YoY), or 18.6 percent and is at its highest mark since March 13, 2015 (866). The active gas rig count of 196 is up 23 YoY, or 13.3 percent. The U.S. miscellaneous rig count increased from one to two.
The U.S. combined rig count has increased by 103 so far through 18 weeks of 2018, which has included 13 weekly gains and four decreases.
Of last week's combined rig count, New Mexico added six, Oklahoma and Texas each added two, while Alaska, Louisiana and North Dakota added one apiece. Colorado 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 eight to a mark of 85 per Baker Hughes' data. For reference, Canada's count hovered between 80-99 during April-May 2017. Canada's 85-mark Friday was the same it was a year earlier, with its oil rig count of 33 up by nine YoY and its gas rig count of 52 down by nine YoY.
Friday's North American combined rig count of 1,106 decreased was unchanged from a week earlier and was up by 151 YoY, or 15.8 percent.
Oil Price Update
After climbing throughout the latter half of last week, WTI Crude oil surpassed an important milestone Sunday night by surpassing $70 for the first time since early December 2014 — when prices were in a nosedive from near $91 that prior August down to the mid-$30s that following January.
Oil opened Monday, April 30 at $67.85 and held near there for most the week, checking in at $67.33 Thursday morning before a considerable rise. Oil closed Thursday at $68.45 and jumped $1.27 throughout Friday, closing the work week at $69.72. Oil crossed the $70-mark Sunday night and opened Monday at $70.41. It climbed as high as $70.71 Monday morning and was at $70.42 as of 8:31 a.m. CT.