US Oil Rig Count Slips Along With Crude Prices


The number of total active drilling rigs in the United States slipped again this week, according to new data from Baker Hughes published on Friday.

The total rig count fell by 4 again to 776 this week—197 rigs higher than the rig count this time in 2021, and 299 rigs lower than the rig count at the beginning of 2019, prior to the pandemic.

Oil rigs in the United States fell by 5 this week, at 620. Gas rigs rose by 1, to 154. Miscellaneous rigs stayed the same at 2.

The rig count in the Permian Basin stayed the same this week at 350. Rigs in the Eagle Ford fell by 1 to 71.

Primary Vision’s Frac Spread Count, an estimate of the number of crews completing unfinished wells—a more frugal use of finances than drilling new wells—fell n the week ending December 9. The frac spread count is now 285, down 5 from the previous week . This 10 fewer crews than a month ago and 18 higher than this time last year.

Crude oil production in the United States retreated to the 12.1 million bpd level in the week ending December 9, where it sat for four weeks before increasing to 12.2 million bpd in the week prior, according to the latest weekly EIA estimates. US production levels are up to 400,000 bpd so far this year and 400,000 bpd versus a year ago.

At 11:53 am ET, the WTI benchmark was trading down $1.97 on the day (-2.59%) at $74.14 per barrel—but up roughly $2.50 per barrel since this time last week.

The Brent benchmark was trading down $2.40 (-2.96%) at $78.81 per barrel on the day, but also up about $2.50 per barrel compared to last Friday.

WTI was trading at $74.04 minutes after the data release, down nearly 3% on the day.

By Julianne Geiger for Oilprice.com

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