The US oil and gas rig count fell sharply this week, according to Baker Hughes, with a drop of 25 rigs for the week. This week marks nine decreases out of the last ten weeks.
The total oil and gas rig count now stands at 830, or 238 down from this time last year.
The total number of active oil rigs in the United States decreased by 17 according to the report, reaching 696. That marks the first time since April 2017 that the oil rig count has fallen below 700. The number of active gas rigs decreased by 4 to reach 133.
Oil rigs have seen a loss of 179 rigs year on year, with gas rigs down 60 since this time last year.
Even though the number of oil rigs have declined by 181 this year alone, production has grown from 11.7 million bpd at the beginning of the year to 12.6 million bpd for week ending October 18—a growth of almost 1 million bpd in less than a year.
Oil prices were a mixed bag on Friday ahead of the data, with WTI up slightly at 12:35pm at $56.35 per barrel (+$0.12) and Brent trading down at $61.38 (+0.06) trading in a tight band as the market looks forward to potential action from OPEC+ in the form of deeper production cuts, but is growing increasingly worried about gloomy demand growth forecasts.
Both benchmarks are up more than $2 per barrel week on week.
Canada’s overall rig count increased this week, with oil and gas rigs increasing by 4, after last week’s 3-rig decrease. Oil and gas rigs in Canada are down 53 year on year.
WTI was trading up 0.20 percent shortly after data release, while Brent was trading down 0.13 percent.
By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com