For the second week in a row, the Baker Hughes North American rotary rig count increase was led by areas outside of Texas. North Dakota’s Bakken oilfields saw an increase of three new rigs this week, while Oklahoma added five new rigs exploring for oil and gas, presumably in the Granite Wash and Cana Woodford basins. The Eagle Ford in Texas stayed stagnant, while the Permian basin only added one new rig. The rig count now sits at a total of 941 in the U.S., up 8 from last week. This includes an addition of one rig in “inland waters” and 7 on land.
States losing rigs include Alaska (-2), New Mexico (-1), and Utah (-1). However, the Texas rig count still more than triples the next leading state. Texas boasts 460 rigs exploring for oil and gas, followed by Oklahoma with 132, and Louisiana with 67.
Overall totals also show 758 rigs exploring for oil, up 11 from last week, and 183 exploring for gas, down 3. The total rig count has increased steadily for the last 23 weeks.
Here is the breakout by basin:
|Major Basin Variances||This Week||+/-||Last Week|
While rig counts rise, oil prices still lagging
Despite the continued increase in rig counts, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude oil is still well below the magic $50 mark, trading between $42.53 and $43.20 on Friday. Brent crude is slightly higher at $45.65, according to Bloomberg.
Last week, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that crude inventories declined by about 2.5 million barrels from the prior week, but the numbers remain higher than many had hoped. In effect, the oil price remained fairly steady all week. OPEC officials consider deeper cuts, but hesitate as they call U.S. production “unpredictable.”