By April 28, 2017 Read More →

US rig count up for 15th straight week, but pace slowing

Rig count

The rig count in the US climbed for the 15th straight week, but according to Baker Hughes, the pace is beginning to slow. Apache photo.

Rig count up by nine in US, down by 14

The US rig count increased for the 15th straight week, but according to Baker Hughes, drilling pace has slowed in April to the lowest in five months as crude prices fell below $50/barrel this week and the effectiveness of OPEC’s supply cut deal is in question.

Nine oil rigs were added to the rig count to April 29, bringing the total up to 697, which is the highest since April 2015.

This week’s total is more than double the rig count at this time last year, however, Baker Hughes reports the pace of additions has dropped this month.  In April, 35 rigs were deployed, the lowest number since November when 33 rigs in total were added.

According to Reuters, in March, producers added 60 oil rigs, the most added since December of 2011.

In Canada, the oil rig count was down by nine to 24.

On Friday, US crude futures traded above $49/barrel, after falling to a one-month low the previous day on doubts that the OPEC supply reduction pact could actually cut into the global crude supply, especially as US drillers kept increasing production.

The Energy Information Administration released data this week showing at 9.3 million b/d, US crude output hit its highest level since August, 2015.

Despite the oversupply of crude and slumping oil prices, a number of US energy companies said they planned to boost spending on drilling and pump more oil and natural gas.

Chevron expects to boost its Permian drilling rig count by 67 per cent to 20 rigs by the end of next year.  Earlier this week, Halliburton said that oil producers were completing nearly as many wells as they drilled.

Hess also plans to increase spending and drilling this year.  The New York based company says it will have six drilling rigs in the Bakken by the end of the year which will help boost production well into next year.





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