United States oil-rig count increases to a almost two-year high

Gladys Abbott
April 21, 2017

By the end of this week, 857 rigs were operating in the United States.

That is more than double the same week a year ago when there were only 343 active oil rigs.

In contrast to solid gains over the previous two weeks, there was an increase of only 1 rig for the Permian Basin to 340, although with a sharp increase from 136 in April 2016.

USA oil and natural gas producers added ten rigs in the past week, bringing Baker Hughes' (BHI) rig count to a total of 857 units.

USA crude futures dropped below $50 a barrel on Friday, for the first time in two weeks and putting it on track for its biggest weekly loss in six weeks, due to doubts the OPEC-led production cut will restore balance to an oversupplied market, especially as US drillers keep producing more oil.

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All told, the US land rig count is now up 426 rigs from a year ago when it stood at 431, Baker Hughes data shows.

There was a small increase of 3 rigs for the Eagle Ford Basin for the week.

Last week, the oil-rig count rose by 11, gas rigs fell by three, and miscellaneous rigs were unchanged at two. 4, 2015, according to data from energy services firm Baker Hughes (BHI), which tracked the seven-day period ended April 21.

In its fourteenth straight climb, U.S. oil rigs rose another five this week, while gas rigs increased by five as well.

Overall, the USA land rig count's first quarter average of 719 units was 27% above fourth quarter numbers, Stephens oilfield services analysts Christopher Denison and Brooks Braden said in a Friday research note.

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