U.S. Adds Another 21 Oil Rigs As Canada's Slide Continues

The active U.S. rig continued its healthy climb this past week, while Canada's took its biggest fall since December 2014.

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The active U.S. rig continued its healthy climb this past week, while Canada's took its biggest fall since December 2014.

The U.S. added another 20 total rigs to Friday's count, provided by oilfield services provider Baker Hughes. That pushes the current U.S. total to 809 rigs exploring for oil and gas, up 74.4 percent year-over-year, and now double since bottoming out at 404 in May 2016. It's the highest count since Oct.2, 2015, and the 10th straight week the total U.S. rig count has increased.

The U.S. added 21 oil rigs this past week, pushing its current mark to 652. It was the 10th straight week the oil rig count has grown, and 20th week in the past 21. The 652 figure is its highest since May 22, 2015, is up 75.3 percent year-over-year, and up 106 percent since bottoming out at 316 in May 2016. The current oil rig count total is still far below the the 1,600 mark it checked in at on Oct. 10, 2014, but has grown steadily for 10 months.

The U.S. lost two gas rigs this past week, continuing a recent up-and-down stretch after two straight weeks of increase. The active gas rig count of 155 is up 68.5 percent year-over-year, and up 91.4 percent since bottoming out at 81 in August 2016.

The U.S. added one miscellaneous rig, with that count now at two.

Texas led the overall U.S. rig count gain, adding eight this past week to a total of 404 and is now up 93.3 percent year-over-year. Oklahoma added seven for a two-week gain of 17, and its current count of 118 is up 87.3 percent from a year earlier. New Mexico added three rigs, while Alaska, California, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and West Virginia each added one. Louisiana lost two and Wyoming lost one.

Canada's rig count decline worsened last week, losing a whopping 91 rigs. That brings its current count down to 181. It was the biggest one-week rig count decline for Canada since Dec. 26, 2014, when the total count fell from 391 to 256 (oil 190 to 94, gas 162 to 156). That 181 count is still up 236 percent year-over-year, with its 70 oil rigs up by 59 and its 114 gas rigs up by 70. 

Friday's combined North American rig count of 994 is down 71 from a week earlier. It is up 475 year-over-year, or 91.5 percent.

Oil Price Update

Note: Starting this week I'm switching from Brent crude oil prices to WTI Crude oil.

U.S. WTI oil prices fell slightly this past week, opening March 20 at $49.25 per barrel and closing Friday afternoon at $48.13. Oil closed between $55.62 and $53.37 every day between Dec. 1 and March 8.