Oil and gas rigs in the United States fell for yet another week, according to Baker Hughes, dipping 4 rigs. as Saudi’s comments regarding the OPEC extension send the Brent Crude benchmark over $60 in mid-day trading for the first time in more than two years.
The total oil and gas rig count in the United States now stands at 909 rigs, up 352 rigs from the year prior, with the number of oil rigs in the United States increasing by 1 this week and the number of natural gas rigs decreasing by 5. Canada saw a decline of 11 in the number of active oil and gas rigs. The US oil rig count now stands at 737.
For the month, the rig count fell by 13, the biggest decline since May 2016. It was also the first time since May 2016 that the number of rigs dropped for a third month in a row.
The rig count, an early indicator of future output, is still much higher than a year ago when only 441 rigs were active after energy companies boosted spending plans in the second half of 2016 as crude recovered from a two-year price crash.
The recovery in drilling lasted 14 months before stalling in August, September and October after some producers started trimming spending plans when prices turned softer over the summer.
The spot price for WTI is also trading up to its highest level in six months, up 2.07% on the day at $53.73 at 12:30pm EST. Brent crude was trading up 1.61% at $59.99 at that time—more than $2 over last week’s close.
At 20 minutes after the hour, WTI was trading at $53.77, with Brent crude trading at $60.02.
US crude oil production was up for the week ending October 20, after falling by almost a million barrels daily for the week prior. Oil production for the week ending October 20 was 9.507 million barrels per day, as things return to normal post-hurricane. U.S. production is expected to rise to 9.2 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2017 and a record 9.9 million bpd in 2018 from 8.9 million bpd in 2016, according to federal energy projections this month.